Researchers in Australia have discovered the potential healing power of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) for treatment of lung diseases. The human lung is comprised of a series of complex branches that lead to gas exchange units which are crucial to life. Lungs are the largest organ in the body exposed to the environment (lungs filter harmful environmental agents from the body), therefore lungs are extremely susceptible to a number of diseases. These respiratory diseases account for nearly 7 percent of all deaths worldwide and by the year 2020 will be the third leading cause of death worldwide. Presently there are no cures for most lung diseases. Treatments for lung disease are currently bronchodilators, inhaled steroids or in most serious cases, lung transplants. While these current treatments may provide temporary relief, they do not effectively address wound repair nor do they promote the formation of healthy airway or gas exchanging units. Recently researchers have suggested that the properties of MSCs have an advantage in reducing the inflammatory effects of lung diseases. MSCs also hold the potential to help promote tissue repair and angiogenesis. The positive progress in cellular therapy confirms that MSCs are safe for human use. Read the full abstract summary here.