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Unproven Stem Cell Treatments for Lung Disease—An Emerging Public Health Problem

Resource Type: Articles Educational Materials

As part of its Public Health Information Series, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) published this educational document on unproven stem cell treatments for respiratory disease. The two-paged PDF provides a basic description of stem cells; their theoretical potential in the treatment of COPD and other respiratory disease; the expense assumed by patients given that insurance does not cover these treatments; as well as the unfavorable views of ATS professionals and pulmonary advocacy groups on stem cell therapies in their current form. The document also stresses the unproven nature of these treatments specific to respiratory disease and the lack of human clinical trials demonstrating any benefit from these approaches. ATS recommends discussion of all available treatment options with the patient’s physician and informed consideration of related research. A list of patient resources – including the COPD Foundation – is included.

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Ikonomou L, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Wagner DE, Freishtat RJ, Weiss DJ (on behalf of the American Thoracic Society Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology Assembly Stem Cell Working Group). Unproven Stem Cell Treatments for Lung Disease—An Emerging Public Health Problem. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 195(7); 2017. Accessed March 12, 2020.


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