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Keywords:

  • stem cells;
  • cystic fibrosis;
  • cell therapy;
  • differentiation;
  • disease modelling;
  • inflammation;
  • bioengineering;
  • animal models

Abstract

Currently there is no cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). Treatments are focused on addressing the disease symptoms, with varying degrees of success. Regenerative medicine holds the promise of regenerating dysfunctional or damaged tissues and to enhance the body's own endogenous repair mechanisms. The discovery of endogenous and exogenous stem cells has provided valuable tools for development of novel treatments for CF. The ability of stem cells to differentiate into functional pulmonary cells, modulate inflammatory responses and contribute to pulmonary function has provided researchers with multiple approaches to develop effective treatment strategies. Several approaches show promise to produce viable therapeutic treatments to treat the underlying cause of CF, reduce the symptoms and mitigate long-term damage, and generate functional replacement organs for end-stage transplantation. This review provides an overview of the rapidly progressing field of cell therapy for CF, focusing on the various cell types utilized and current strategies that show promise to improve life expectancy and quality of life for CF patients. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.