Sydney: For the first time, Australian researchers have found a type of stem cell that could prove crucial in reducing injury and scarring in the lung and even generate new lung cells.
A recent study has revealed that human cells isolated from the placenta could potentially heal lung injuries in patients.
Lead researcher, associate professor Yuben Moodley, who is now at the Lung Institute of Western Australia, University of Western Australia, and a physician at the Royal Perth Hospital said: "The investigation could provide hope for patients suffering from lung damage."
"Globally, lung diseases cause many deaths and disabilities, with most lung conditions responding poorly to traditional medicines. Cellular therapies, although in the early stages of development, may form a vital part of future life-saving treatments," added Moodley, according to a Lung Institute release.
Co-author Emeritus professor Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine said: "This study makes a very significant contribution to the potential repair of lung injury."
"It adopts a new approach to cell therapy utilising a type of cell that is available in large numbers and is particularly effective in lung repair," Trounson concluded.
These findings were published in the June issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.