Researchers At Queens University Belfast Discover Cure For Chronic Lung DiseaseBy Khaleb Skye A. Cruz, UniversityHerald Reporter
Stem-cell therapy may help cure chronic lung diseases, according to researchers at the Queens University Belfast. However, the study has only been tested in animals and remains at a pre-clinical stage.
The findings were presented on March 25 at the Lung Science Conference of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) in Estoril, Portugal. In the near future, patients suffering from chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD) can use Stem-cell as an alternative treatment. COPD leads to lung inflammation and, eventually, to respiratory failure.
NDTV reported that the experts at the Queens University Belfast investigated the effects of Mesenchymal Stem-cell (MSC) therapy in a mouse model. Stem cells were injected into the animal which was aged four to six weeks. Upon reaching eight weeks, sample tissues were collected and it was found out that the inflammation was significantly reduced.
Furthermore, other measures of lung destruction were abridged. A notable improvement in the lung structure was also seen, hinting that MSC could potentially repair an already damaged lung. Dr. Declan Doherty, one of the project proponents, said that the "preliminary findings" show the high possibility for MSC to cure COPD in humans.
Nonetheless, more research is needed to understand how MSCs repair the damage. For the record, monocytic cells and neutrophils are both signs of inflammation in the lungs. Indeed, the combined use of the MSC's anti-inflammatory and reparative properties pose a bright future for lung disease patients.
For her part, ERS Conferences and Research Seminars Director Rachel Chambers said that the recent study "offers novel results in a pre-clinical model." It promises the potential of MSC for long-term lung treatment. Per Science Daily, Chambers is also excited for the capabilities of MSC to treat COPD and cystic fibrosis.
While it is still too early to translate this success to human situations, it is still one of the best products abstracts last March 25. Millions of patients suffering from any respiratory problem may soon see hope.