How immune cells respond to signals from damaged lung cells
IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) is a rare lung disease that causes irreversible scarring of the lungs and has a very low survival rate. It is estimated that 7,000 people are currently living with this disease in Australia.
Tylah Miles, a second year PhD student within the Tissue Repair Group, is currently investigating how immune cells respond to signals from damaged lung cells and how that affects scar formation in the lung.
The Group have discovered a specific immune cell signature that identifies that a sub-group of patients who were initially diagnosed with IPF, also present with autoimmune-like features.
Although further validation is needed, this signature may be useful in identifying this group of patients early. It is possible that these individuals with altered immune responses may be more likely to respond to treatment with immunotherapy.
“The hope is that gaining a better understanding of how cells interact and lead to fibrosis will, in time, lead to new therapies”. Said Tylah