Regenerative pulmonary medicine: potential and promise, pitfalls and challenges

Eur J Clin Invest. 2012 Aug;42(8):900-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2012.02667.x. Epub 2012 Mar 21.


Background: Chronic lung diseases contribute significantly to the morbidity and mortality of the population. There are few effective treatments for many chronic lung diseases, and even fewer therapies that can arrest or reverse the progress of the disease.

Design: In this review, we present the current state of regenerative therapies for the treatment of chronic lung diseases. We focus on endothelial progenitor cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and endogenous lung stem/progenitor cells; summarize the work to date in models of lung diseases for each of these therapies; and consider their potential benefits and risks as viable therapies for patients with lung diseases.

Conclusions: Cell-based regenerative therapies for lung diseases offer great promise, with preclinical studies suggesting that the next decade should provide the evidence necessary for their ultimate application to our therapeutic armamentarium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / transplantation*
  • Animals
  • Endothelial Cells / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Lung Diseases / therapy*
  • Lung Injury / therapy
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Models, Animal
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / therapy
  • Pulmonary Medicine / methods
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods