Title : Autologous stem cell infusion in COPD patients: impact on quality of life and physical performance
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious disease that affects millions of people around the world, however, there is still no well-established curative treatment. Quality of life and the six-minute walk test (6MWT) are used to evaluate the response of COPD patients to treatment. Stem cell therapy is a promising therapeutic alternative with great potential in these patients. Objectives: to evaluate the impact of autologous stem cell infusion on quality of life and physical performance in patients with COPD. Interventions: Twenty patients with advanced COPD were randomized into four groups: Control (no stem cell therapy); BMMC (bone marrow mononuclear cells collected by aspiration of the iliac crest; MSC-AT (mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue; and Coinfusion (BMMC and MCS-AT infused at the same time). The parameters of the 6MWT and quality of life questionnaire were evaluated over 12 months after treatment. Results: Treated groups showed improvement of the quality of life over the baseline score in relation to the Control group: Coinfusion (47.62%); MCS-AT (34.22%); BMMC (10.39%). The 6MWT results showed no difference in distances, but the Borg scale scores and oxygen saturation (SatO2) levels did not decrease. Conclusions: Stem cell treatments, especially autologous MCS-AT and the combination of MCS-AT with autologous BMMC tended to modify the quality of life positively, without deteriorating physical performance after 12 months of follow-up compared to the results following conventional treatment (control). Stem cells may provide a new therapeutic approach with broad potential to be investigated in patients with advanced COPD.