The team found that the factor VIII can be seen in the lung tissue and was present on the cell surface of blood vessels in the lungs. The work also showed that the gene for factor VIII can be decoded is much more complicated than previously thought. This could change the way scientists approach the treatment of many cases where the conditions of blood clotting is a factor.A key protein that causes blood to clot is produced by blood vessels in the lungs and not only the liver, a new study published in the journal PLoS One, led by scientists at Imperial College London.
Dr Claire Shovlin, the lead author of the study by the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, said: ‘Our study suggests that blood vessels in the lungs play an important role in changing how blood clots form in the the body. There are a large number of blood vessels – covering an area equivalent in size to a squash court, actually 20 times the size of all other blood vessels combined.
In 2006, researchers at the University of Louvain in Belgium, has published a study in the journal Blood looking as lung tissue. Researchers have spent fluid through the tissue and found that three of the four lung samples studied, the levels of factor VIII increased in the fluid after passing through the lungs. They also showed that some blood vessels of the lungs may produce factor VIII in cell culture.
Prior to recent research it was believed that most of the factor VIII is produced by the liver. Treatment options for patients with hemophilia have included the replacement of liver cells, for example through transplantation.
‘This means that it is really important for us to understand exactly how the behavior of the blood vessels of the lungs could have an impact on diseases in which blood clotting is a factor. Further research on how the lungs modify the clotting potential of blood flowing through them could open new avenues for treatment, ‘added Dr Shovlin.
Other data of importance for patients with myeloma include updates on drugs in development closer to possible approval: pomalidomide and carfilzomib. Equally important will be presentations on the role of research of new drugs, including drugs that work on the epigenetic function of genes and drugs that target the unique features of myeloma cells.
Tissue samples and blood for the work that led to this study were donated by patients from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, tissues treated with the tissue bank’s Hammersmith Hospital.