>Here’s more news on embryonic stem cells (from the BBC) pointing out that organ transplant from these cells are far in the future.
“However, much more work is needed.
Dr Bishop said: “Although it will be some years before we are able to build actual human lungs for transplantation, this is a major step towards deriving cells that could be used to repair damaged lungs.”
Professor Stephen Spiro, professor of respiratory medicine at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and spokesman for the British Lung Foundation, said: “This is very exciting, but there is a lot more work to do.”
He said there were many other cell types that make up the lung that would be needed to make new organs.
But he said the cells that the Imperial team had made were crucial for lung function. “
I’ll bet that there might be a very short-lived trial of transplants like this – but the logistics of growing and supporting the normal development of a lung – with vasculature, matrix and the alveoli – and then the surgery sounds to convoluted and dangerous, to me. (Organs would also take a while to grow and might depend on cloning – especially if genetic manipulation is needed to correct a genetic disease.)
The ideal would be to cause the patient’s own lungs to regenerate. Hopefully, the research is focused on the environment and factors that stimulate recruitment and development of stem cells in situ.
Even better, a rejuvenative treatment that causes the body to continually replace damage. Then, we’d just need supportive care in the case of acute trauma.