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Peer-reviewed article highlights potential for stem cells as a new regenerative therapy combating COVID-19-induced pneumonia

Adipose-derived stem cells as new regenerative immediate therapy

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New research from peer-reviewed articles suggests that stem cells could benefit COVID-19 patients and work as antiviral therapy due to their vast anti-inflammatory, tissue repair, and immunomodulatory capabilities.

These effects haven’t just been in a few isolated studies but rather in a growing body of research published in journals throughout the U.S. and beyond.

A recent investigation published by Leng et al., “Adipose-derived stromal stem cells (ASCs) as a new regenerative immediate therapy combating coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced pneumonia”

[1], Full article: Adipose-derived stromal stem cells (ASCs) as a new regenerative immediate therapy combating coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced pneumonia (tandfonline.com) reported exceptional outcomes in improved pulmonary functional activity, into seven patients who suffered Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19) after an intravenous administration of clinical-grade mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

In the investigation of Leng et al. [1], 7 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, with COVID-19 pneumonia (study group), showed a great improving pulmonary functional activity after an intravenous administration of clinical-grade MSCs [1].

Surprisingly, the investigation reported that all pulmonary symptoms subsided 2–4 days later receiving intravenous MSC infiltration without side effects. Extraordinarily, the chest CT imaging displayed that pneumonia was significantly reduced, and the major part of treated patients had shown negative outcomes for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test 1.5 weeks average later MSC infusion [1].

MSCs have been used extensively in cellular therapies, including both pre-clinical studies and an important number of clinical trials [17–20] confirming their safety and efficacy. On this point, it is necessary to specify that, principally, the sources of MSCs are two: first of all, adipose tissue (fat), and secondly bone marrow [21]. Subcutaneous adipose tissue has a significant edge over other MSCs because it is easily accessible while posing the least amount of discomfort to the patient and being easy to use with local anesthesia. Moreover, it is easy to isolate the target stem cells from the tissue that has been harvested [22,23]. Additionally, a higher quantity of stem cells has been observed in fat compared to bone marrow [24]. MSCs are essentially cells that renew on their own, in addition to being multipotent, having the capacity to split into cells of mesenchymal origin in vitro; this includes chondrocytes, adipocytes, and osteo-blasts.

Intravenous infusion of MSCs leads in fact to their accumulation in the narrow capillaries of the lungs [41], where their activities playing a significant role in protecting or rejuvenating alveolar epithelial cells, counteracting fibrosis, and improving lung function. MSC infusion would likely be particularly beneficial to elderly individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, both with and without co-morbidities, as this population is more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2-induced pneumonia, resulting in severe respiratory distress and death because of immune-senescence [42–45].The results today obtained indicate the possibility to infuse MSCs, as a safe and efficient approach, in selected patients withCOVID-19 pneumonia, suffered from high fever (38.5°C ± 0.5°C), shortness of breath, and low oxygen saturation, and that seems not to respond to the administered therapy.

Now, the ASCs as MSCs have been routinely used for several years in autologous regenerative therapies, showing interesting, effective, and safe results, as previously cited.

Healing effects on the respiratory system have been shown from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of which are used at Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center, with clinics in Manhattan, Kansas and Kansas City.

While Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center usually uses stem cells on injured tissues in joints and backs, the new body of work shows stem cells’ capabilities in regulating the immune system and protecting the lungs from severe pulmonary damage, which is often a result of COVID-19 in older patients, especially those with compounded medical issues.

John Farley, co-founder of Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center, said, “These findings of stem cells’ anti-inflammatory and tissue repair capabilities seem to replicate some of the anecdotal results our patients have experienced when receiving IV therapy treatment.”

Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center uses cells from your own body’s adipose (fat). Adult stem cells are “blank,” or undifferentiated, cells that your body creates to replace dying cells or heal damaged tissue. Once collected in a nearly painless procedure from naturally occurring fatty deposits or bone marrow in your body, these plentiful stem cells can be reintroduced into specific areas of the body to regenerate healthy cells and accelerate your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Learn more about the procedure. 

 We use your own naturally occurring Mesenchymal 'adult' stem cells. These remarkable cells are able to differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle and fat cells, that can promote healing and reduce pain and inflammation.

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