23 September 2014
Research at Yale University has investigated a potential new treatment that could reverse the effect of pulmonary fibrosis. The disease affects the respiratory system and sees scars develop in the lungs, which can severely inhibit breathing.
The study, published in the journal European Molecular Biology Organization Molecular Medicine, used a microRNA mimic - miR-29 - which is delivered to lung tissue through the veins. In mouse models, the team found that miR-29 was able to block pulmonary fibrosis, and reverse the disease after several days.
Pulmonary fibrosis has an average survival of between three to five years after diagnosis, while there is no treatment that currently reverses the disease.
Dr Naftali Kaminski, a professor at Yale School of Medicine and section chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine, said: "The mimic, when injected into the blood, goes to the lung and it has a sustained effect. We are very impressed that it can reverse fibrosis, not only prevent it."
Dr Kaminski, who is also corresponding author of the study, said the next step will see the team evaluating miR-29 as a treatment option for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in humans.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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