28th March 06:48
Australian scientists report breakthrough in lung diseases research (bronchitis cancer mesothelioma emphysema)
Australian scientists report breakthrough in lung diseases research
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CANBERRA, Aug 24, 2003 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Australian scientists
have reported a world-first breakthrough in stem-cell research which
would lead to a cure for lung diseases.
Scientists with the Melbourne-based National Stem Cell Center have
successfully turned human embryonic stem cells into lung cells, the
Herald Sun daily reported Sunday.
Research leader Dr Richard Mollard was quoted as saying this was the
first time lung cells had been successfully grown.
The development is a step towards coaxing damaged lungs to repair
themselves. The discovery could yield cures for cystic fibrosis,
mesothelioma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and, eventually, lung
cancer, according to Mollard.
He said although it is too soon to start human clinical trails, early
results were promising. "It certainly looks like we are heading in the
right direction," he added.
He said the breakthrough meant people with lung diseases may be
offered pioneering stem-cell therapy as a treatment and potential cure
within a few years. But he said a cure for lung cancer would take
Lung diseases kill millions of people around the world and caused
heavy medical burdens. In the United States alone, more than 10
billion US dollars is used in treating the diseases, scientists said.