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UVA doctors testing lung injury drug on humans for first time ever

(WSET)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Doctors at UVA Medical Cente are getting one step closer to making life safer after a lung transplant.

The research is nearly 30 years in the making.

The first lung transplant at UVA was in 1989 and doctors noticed a lung injury had developed not long after surgery.

Doctors at UVA are now testing a drug on humans for the first time, called regadenoson.

They hope it will help reduce the negative reaction a person's body may have after a lung transplant; doctors will be conducting their research on 21 patients in the near future.

"We're going to gradually escalate the dose, and once we get the dose we want and we prove it's safe, we'll then open that up to a more institutional randomized trial where we actually look at how effective it is," said Christine Lau, the Division Chief of Thoracic Surgery.

The end goal is to see if this drug can reduce or prevent the lung injury altogether.

Doctors hope that within five years, they will be able to show that this drug is effective.

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