Beatlemania, COPD and the Rise of Stem Cell Therapy

In 1963, Walter Cronkite of CBS News was looking for something positive to report after the assassination of JFK. He chose to re-run a report on “Beatlemania” in the U.K. After the broadcast, a 15-year old girl named Marsha Albert immediately requested her local DJ play the band’s album. Inciting a chain reaction in what would become the beginning of Beatlemania in the US, this event marked the tipping point of the British Invasion. Almost overnight, The Beatles changed the American music scene.

Although not as quickly as The Beatles, stem cell therapy and its rise to prominence within the medical community has also fundamentally changed the medical landscape. With origins stemming from 1956 when stem cell therapy was called a “bone marrow transplant,” the science has continued to develop in relative isolation until a discovery in 2012 placed stem cell therapy and its potential widespread application on center stage.

One such application was in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a relentlessly degenerative lung disease with no known cure. Although stem cell therapy is not a cure for lung diseases such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema, when compared to traditional treatment options such as medication, oxygen and inhalers—which only work to mitigate disease symptoms—stem cell therapy is uniquely distinct.

Addressing the progression of the disease itself, stem cell therapy takes the naturally occurring stem cells generated within blood or bone marrow, and reintroduces them back into the lungs where they can promote healing and reduce inflammation from within.

One clinic in particular, the Lung Institute (, currently specializes in this form of treatment and has been in operation for over three years, effectively increasing the quality of life for over 2,500 patients and boasting an 82 percent success rate. With a belief in “pushing the status quo” clinics like the Lung Institute offer hope to those who may have otherwise given up.

Within six years of coming to America, The Beatles had revolutionized not only music but American culture as a whole. Similarly, stem cell therapy seems to be entering its moment, and with it, creating an opportunity to dramatically influence the lives of Americans for generations to come. To the benefit of our future, as Walter Cronkite would often say, “That’s the way it is.”

If you or a loved one suffer from a chronic lung disease, the specialists at the Lung Institute may be able to help. You can contact the Lung Institute at (855) 978-5767 or visit to find out if you qualify for these new treatments.

By Cameron Kennerly
For Pittsburgh Senior News