Stem Cell Therapy and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) refers to the scarring of the interstitium (the supporting framework of the lungs as well as the pulmonary tissues), with fibroblast proliferation, deposition of extracellular matrix and progressing fibrosis of the tissues. It is a debilitating, lethal condition which worsens progressively, leading to decreasing lung volumes and hypoxemic respiratory failures, and eventually death if left untreated. It has a mean overall survival time of 2 to 3 years. Around 7 to 16 cases of IPF are reported every year per 100,000 in the USA.
Stem cell therapy has been shown to have the ability of regenerating damaged organs and tissues totally or partially, depending on their potential and source of extraction. Totipotent stem cells (TSC), which are found during the placental stage of development of newborns within the mother’s womb, are considered to be the ones with maximum potential and have been shown to possess the ability to totally regenerate an organism.