• STV
  • MySTV

New treatment for lung diseases 'a step closer' after breakthrough

The discovery could lead to better therapies for ailments such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, researchers said.

Lung cancer deaths in Scottish women rising

New treatments for some lung diseases are a step closer thanks to research that pinpoints why existing drugs are "ineffective", according to scientists.

The discovery could lead to better therapies for ailments such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, researchers said.

These conditions can fail to respond to the most widely-used treatments, glucocorticoid drugs (GCs).

The University of Edinburgh said its study sheds new light on the complex biological processes that cause lung inflammation, the immune system's response to disease caused by bacterial infection.

Scientists analysed blood samples, focusing on the vital role that certain white blood cells, called neutrophils, play in fighting infection.

Neutrophils normally only have a lifespan of a few hours but, when they are called into action at sites of inflammation, they can survive for several days to carry out their protective functions. In doing so, they absorb more oxygen than usual.

But the Edinburgh scientists have found that GCs can be ineffective because, at inflammation sites, there is not enough oxygen for the drugs to function efficiently.

Treatments that are less reliant on oxygen supply are therefore more likely to be effective, researchers said.

They made their finding by taking neutrophils from the blood of healthy volunteers and studying the effect that oxygen had on the lifespan of the cells.

When there were healthy levels of oxygen in the blood, the drugs could keep the cells alive for longer.

Lead researcher Professor Adriano Rossi, of the university's MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, said: "Most diseases afflicting humans have an important inflammatory component.

"Understanding the fundamental mechanisms and processes controlling inflammation will undoubtedly lead to the development of much-needed, safer anti-inflammatory drugs."

Fellow study author Dr John Marwick, also of the centre, said: "Inflammatory diseases contribute to countless deaths and suffering, and deciphering how important inflammatory cells live and function is vital."

The research was carried out along with researchers at the University of California and CXR Biosciences in Dundee.

The study, published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, was funded by Medical Research Scotland and the Medical Research Council.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.