An Australian hospital is trialing a new treatment for premature babies with lung problems using placenta cells.

The human-first trial conducted at Monash Children’s Hospital saw cells from a human placenta successfully infused into six babies around the age of three months.

The findings were published today as part of a study in the STEM CELLS Translational Medicine journal, reports 9 news.

Monash University and Hudson Institute scientists hope their treatment can reduce the need for baby ventilation and ultimately prevent chronic lung disease and brain conditions in premmies.

“Premature births can be devastating for some families. Especially those whose children develop chronic lung disease,” study co-lead author Dr Atul Malhotra told TODAY.

“Bronco(pulmonary) dysplasia leads to significant short-term but also long-term side effects in these babies.

“Our researchers 10 years ago found that placenta stem cells (trigger) the lung’s immune response…to help with this chronic lung disease.

“Now we are really excited because for the first time in the world, we have given these cells to six babies and (it’s) shown a good response, especially on the safety front.”

An additional trial will be conducted to study whether the cells can indeed help normalise lung growth among the babies.

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  • I know Mum in SA who was given special injections to help improve the lung development of a baby they knew would be premature.


  • Well done. Let’s hope this is a miracle we need


  • Hope this study and trial will create new posibilities for premmies suffering lung problems.


  • This is awesome news! My last two kids were prem but we were lucky enough to have no medical problems other than reflux and being small, very very lucky


  • So wonderful to see medical advancements like this. Best of luck with the additional trials and hopefully we will see this type of medicine in our near future.


  • Wow how amazing! I really hope that this becomes mainstream practice and able to help the little premmies in the near future.


  • This is wonderful news. I hope the trials are very successful.


  • What an amazing discovery! Success with all the trials!!


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