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.
© 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2012 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.