US Researchers Discovered First Human Lung Stem Cell For Treating Lung Problems

By on May 12, 2011 in Health, United States Comments

Stem Cells
Image Credit: AFP/Spencer Platt

US researchers have identified the first human lung stem cells that are self-renewing and provides important signs for treating chronic lung diseases, as reported earlier by several international news sites.

According to Piero Anversa, director of Center for Regenerative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-author of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine,

“This research describes, for the first time, a true human lung stem cell. The discovery of this stem cell has the potential to offer those who suffer from chronic lung diseases a totally novel treatment option by regenerating or repairing damaged areas of the lung.”

Reports also mentioned that based on the studies, the finding qualifies as a true stem cell because it renews itself and can form different types of lung cells like bronchioles, alveoli and pulmonary vessel cells.

Joseph Loscalzo, co-author of the study and chair of the BWH Department of Medicine said that, “These are the critical first steps in developing clinical treatments for those with lung disease for which no therapies exist”. He added, “Further research is needed, but we are excited about the impact this discovery could have on our ability to regenerate or recreate new lung tissues to replace damaged areas of the lungs.”

Lung disease, according to National Institutes of Health, is the third leading killer in the United States after heart disease and cancer.

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