Posted: Jul 23, 2010 7:45 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Updated: Jul 23, 2010 7:48 AM
There is new hope for millions of asthma sufferers.
Researchers are on the verge of a major breakthrough that could make inhalers a thing of the past.
Dr. David Farrar and his research team at the University of Texas Southwestern discovered that Interferon, an immune system protein already used to treat certain cancers, Multiple Sclerosis and Hepatitis C --also blocks certain immune cells that cause asthma.
"We want to know if Interferon can reverse those cells. If it can, this could be a promising potential therapy to treat asthma patients," Dr. Farrar explained.
The next step: Clinical trials with asthma patients.
Because Interferon has been used as a treatment for so long, early phase safety trials won't be necessary.