Many firms that generally fall into the category of unproven stem cell or cell therapy clinics have a way of reinventing themselves and I’ve seen this with one formerly named the Lung Institute that is now called Centers for Respiratory Health.
First the Lung Institute became the Lung Health Institute.
Now that firm has become Centers for Respiratory Health.
The path to the new identity
As best as I can tell, the “cell therapy” offerings of Centers for Respiratory Health are the same or at least extremely similar to those of its previous incarnation.
The history of this firm or at least this bundle of respiratory offerings is more complicated though. The Lung Health Institute was at some point managed by something called Regenerative Medicine Solutions or RMS. The pulmonary offerings of RMS were then acquired by another firm Medovex. Then Medovex changed its name to H-CYTE.
It seems it was then that H-CYTE repackaged the lung offerings component into the new Centers for Respiratory Health.
Clear on all that? Yeah, I’m not 100% sure I am either.
This kind of road of acquisitions and new names is actually pretty common in the biotech world more generally.
However, in the world of stem cell clinics and those selling cell therapies, such changes can make it difficult to follow who is selling what and what they used to do.
Also, how do past events apply now? For instance, there was a class action suit pending against the Lung Health Institute. I don’t know if that was settled or what its current status might be given all the changes with the firm in the last couple years.
Centers for Respiratory Health offerings
As I said earlier, it seems like the new entity sells interventions like those from the Lung Health Institute. From the new website:
“The Centers for Respiratory Health uses cellular therapy (PRP-PMBC) which may help improve overall lung health in patients with chronic lung disorders, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and ILD. Many of these conditions have no cure, but certain treatments may help improve patients ability to Breathe Easier, and has allowed many people with chronic pulmonary conditions to improve their quality of life.”
This seems to me to basically be PRP for lung disorders.
Last year I wrote a fact-check of a sort on this kind of approach and on the Lung Health Institute. Check that out if you want to learn more about my perspectives. More broadly, you may also find my fact-check of stem cells for COPD to be useful even if the new incarnation doesn’t use stem cells.
Why IV PRP for lungs?
Here are more details from the new Centers for Respiratory Health website:
“(platelet-rich plasma-peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PRP-PMBC))
When patients receive cellular therapy (PRP-PMBC), a sample of the patient’s own blood is taken for the cells to be separated and isolated. Concentrated cells are then returned into the bloodstream. This may help improve overall lung health potentially allowing patients to Breathe Easier and improve their quality of life.”
Why would this be helpful?
Overall, I am highly skeptical that PRP-like products can help lung diseases. It just doesn’t make sense to me as a stem cell biologist. I’m not a physician, but I have been following stem cell treatments and clinical trials for about 15 years now.
One of the key puzzles for me of this approach is the concentration of platelets from blood followed by their return to the bloodstream where it seems to me at least that they would be just diluted out again.
Or does some of the concentrated PRP get to the lungs before the dilution effect? I don’t know. If some PRP gets to the lungs, what would it do there that is helpful? Where are the published, robust clinical trial data?
Big picture: caution is warranted
There are many people with respiratory diseases out there looking for hope and new options. In my view, it’s crucial that they only get proven treatments backed by rigorous clinical trial data.
I don’t see that yet for PRP or other cell therapy approaches to lung diseases. Also, in my view if something is still experimental then patients should not have to pay for it.