Hope for patients with chronic lung disease

Matthew Meyers, who received ground-breaking cell therapy for lymphoma after a lung transplant, with Dr Dan Chambers

The Queensland Lung Transplant Service research team, headed by Associate Professor Dan Chambers, have completed multiple world-first trials to evaluate the feasibility and safety of intravenous stem cell and T-cell therapy in lung fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, lung transplant rejection, drug-refractory viral infection and related malignancies.

Based at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH), the team has received $1.9 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for their ASSISTCLAD study which aims to induce tolerance in patients experiencing chronic lung allograft dysfunction. The study is a collaboration with all four lung Australian lung transplant hospitals and The University of Queensland.

Associate Professor Chambers says chronic lung conditions are debilitating ultimately fatal, with the patient’s health gradually deteriorating.

“For patients with these diseases, many will require a lung transplant in the long term. Chronic rejection is the major impediment to a patient’s survival following lung transplantation, resulting in an irreversible scarring process involving the small airways,” he says.

The new research aims to not only make long term survival possible to lung transplant recipients, but improve their quality of life.

“For the last 30 years, the prevention of chronic rejection has focused on altering or increasing immunosuppressive regimes for patients, to help reduce
lung function decline,” Assoc Prof Chambers says.

“This approach is generally poorly tolerated due to heightened levels of immune suppression leading to secondary infection. Our research recognises the need
for alternative therapy options not reliant on enhanced immunosuppression.

“By investigating the role of stem cell therapy for targeted lung conditions, our goal is to identify new ways to assist in the long term management of patients with these currently incurable conditions.”

Associate Professor Chambers will establish Australia’s first, and the world’s largest, Centre for Lung Regeneration, where stem cell science can be translated
into the clinic. The Centre is supported by Metro North Hospital and Health Service and The University of Queensland.

2017-11-28T04:05:30+00:0028 November 2017|
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