Researchers used the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System to continuously pump a bloodless solution of oxygen, proteins and nutrients into injured donor lungs, mimicking normal physiological conditions and warming the lungs to normal body temperatures. This makes it possible for the injured cells to begin repairing themselves, and also sets the stage for gene therapy repair techniques to be applied to donor lungs. The technique was shown to be simple and effective in improving lung function. Their results, “Functional Repair of Human Donor Lungs by IL-10 Gene Therapy,” are published in the October 28, 2009 edition of the journal SCIENCE Translational Medicine: http://stm.sciencemag.org.
Toronto, Ontario - Breakthrough: For the first time, scientists in the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at University Health Network have successfully used gene therapy to repair injured human donor lungs, making them potentially suitable for transplantation into patients. This technique could significantly expand the number of donor lungs by using organs that are currently discarded, and improve outcomes after transplantation.
In their pioneering work, a team of researchers led by Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, Senior Scientist at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network and Director of the Lung Transplant Program, and the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories, developed a technique of ex vivo gene delivery to donor lungs, before they are implanted into a recipient's body. The technique was shown to be simple and effective in improving lung function.
To find out more about this research milestone, click here.
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