The Truth about Stem Cell Therapy

This article was reviewed by Senior Director of Community Engagement and COPD360social Community Manager, Bill Clark, as well as certified staff Respiratory Therapists on January 30, 2020.

Dear COPD Coach,
Is there any scientific study to indicate that stem cell therapy can have a positive outcome in the treatment of COPD? I have COPD and this procedure has been suggested to me as a possible treatment.

-Curious about stem cell

Dear Curious,
The is absolutely no proof that these “stem cell” treatments work - or more importantly - are safe. The individuals who run the clinics claim they are conducting clinical trials, however, clinical trials don’t charge and these “trials” are not approved by the government.

Insurance does not cover the treatment, and it is VERY expensive. The administrators initially charge you a price of a couple thousand, and when you don’t show improvement (which you won’t), they tell you that you need more treatments at several thousand dollars each.

Then there is a question of safety. Most of these clinics claim they remove stem cells from one part of your body and then transplant it. I studied one of these clinics where the operators were advertising that they would help other clinics up by selling them a book with all the info they needed to perform procedures! No reputable university, research facility, medical organization or doctor endorses or recommends this therapy, and the FDA is investigating these clinics.

There is research on stem cell going on as we speak, but we are still some years away before effective stem cell therapy will be safe and ready. You can find the COPD Foundation's official stance regarding stem cell treatments here.

While I know it can be hard to accept that there is no cure for COPD, there are ways to lead a full and vibrant life. Please stay connected with our COPD360social community and access our free educational materials here.

All the best,
The COPD Coach

Coaches Corner is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice. If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at We would love to hear your questions and comments. You can address your emails to The COPD Coach.


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