Stem cell transplants for lung regeneration – promising breakthrough in China
For the first time, researchers have succeeded in using stem cell transplantation to regenerate damaged lung tissue
It has been reported earlier this week, that researchers from Tongji University in China have made a breakthrough in human lung regeneration technology which could greatly benefit patients with permanent lung damage such as bronchiectasis.
(Since permanent lung damage and bronchiectasis is common in Cystic Fibrosis, we were very interested to learn more about this breakthrough and we are excited to watch the progress on this over the next few years.)
At first the researchers tested the technology on immunodeficient mice and saw promising results such as the successfully regenerated human bronchial and alveolar structures, and the repair of the injured lungs. Arterial blood gas analysis showed that the lung function of the mice was significantly recovered.
The team launched the first human clinical trial based on the lung stem cell transplantation for the treatment of Bronchiectasis (permanent injury to the bronchial structure of lung). The first two patients were recruited for a clinical trial in March 2016.
- The lung stem cells were delivered into the patients’ lung through bronchoscopy.
- One year after transplantation, two patients described relief of multiple respiratory symptoms such as coughing and dyspnea.
- CT imaging showed regional recovery of the dilated structure.
- Patient lung function began to recover three months after transplantation, which maintained for one year.
- According to reports, a multi-center, placebo-controlled study is being carried out with a much larger group and involving different categories of respiratory diseases including bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease.
- According to the press release published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this could be revolutionary in conquering lung disease