Dr. Thomas Waddell at Toronto General Hospital is investigating whether adult stem cells obtained from bone marrow can replace cystic fibrosis (CF) airway cells. The airway cells of individuals with CF produce a non-functional CFTR protein. Under the right conditions, bone marrow cells can be stimulated to produce several of the proteins found in airway cells, including CFTR.
Adult stem cells are unspecialized cells found throughout the juvenile and adult body that can create specific cell types. They multiply by cell division to replace dying cells and damaged tissues.
Dr. Waddell is studying how to best deliver adult stem cells to the lungs and stimulate them once delivered. The aim of this research is to correct the basic defect in cystic fibrosis lung cells.
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The researchers funded by Cystic Fibrosis Canada adhere strictly to the guidelines for stem cell research set out by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and comply with all applicable Canadian legislation. When it comes to research using stem cells, Cystic Fibrosis Canada supports only work that will absolutely yield new information about cystic fibrosis.