The Lung Can Regenerate

One of the ongoing themes in stem cell research is the discovery that numerous tissues thought to be static or poor at regeneration are in fact generating new cells, and can in fact naturally regenerate under some circumstances. If the rudiments of these regenerative mechanisms exist, then why not build therapies based on reliably activating and steering them? Or so the thinking goes. At the present time work hasn't progressed much past discovery and experimentation, even for nerve tissues where the crucial discoveries that neurogenesis occurs in adults were solidified and accepted fifteen years ago. Most of the progress in the broader field of regenerative medicine to date has been a case of improving on regenerative mechanisms that have long been well recognized and are consistently at work in ordinary adults. That will change soon enough, however, as improved technologies and capabilities in working with cells are leading to rapid progress in all areas of cell research. The equipment and knowledge present in the labs of today is far advanced over that of even a decade ago, and the pace is picking up.

Here is a great example of the sort of discoveries taking place in recent years regarding the regenerative capabilities of tissues that normally recover from damage only poorly. In this case the focus is on the lung. Like much of this work, it seems very promising - that there are mechanisms that could with just comparatively simple manipulations greatly enhance the normal state of tissue regeneration. "Comparatively simple" is usually still a major research project in any form of cell biology, unfortunately, but this and similar results in other tissues show the path ahead. Regenerative medicine will undergo a great deal of improvement in near future:

Lung regeneration mechanism discovered

The idea that the lung can regenerate has been slow to take hold in the biomedical research community, in part because of the steady decline that is seen in patients with severe lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (known as COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. Nevertheless, there are examples in humans that point to the existence of a robust system for lung regeneration. Some survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, for example, are able to recover near-normal lung function following significant destruction of lung tissue.

Mice appear to share this capacity. Mice infected with the H1N1 influenza virus show progressive inflammation in the lung followed by outright loss of important lung cell types. Yet over several weeks, the lungs recover, revealing no signs of the previous lung injury. Using this mouse model system, [researchers] previously identified a type of adult lung stem cell known as p63+/Krt5+ in the alveoli found within the lung.

The research team reports that the p63+/Krt5+ lung stem cells proliferate upon damage to the lung caused by H1N1 infection. Following such damage, the cells go on to contribute to developing alveoli near sites of lung inflammation. To test whether these cells are required for lung regeneration, the researchers developed a novel system that leverages genetic tools to selectively remove these cells from the mouse lung. Mice lacking the p63+/Krt5+ lung stem cells cannot recover normally from H1N1 infection, and exhibit scarring of the lung and impaired oxygen exchange - demonstrating their key role in regenerating lung tissue. The research team also showed that when individual lung stem cells are isolated and subsequently transplanted into a damaged lung, they readily contribute to the formation of new alveoli, underscoring their capacity for regeneration.

p63+Krt5+ distal airway stem cells are essential for lung regeneration

Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary fibrosis involve the progressive and inexorable destruction of oxygen exchange surfaces and airways, and have emerged as a leading cause of death worldwide. Mitigating therapies, aside from impractical organ transplantation, remain limited and the possibility of regenerative medicine has lacked empirical support. However, it is clinically known that patients who survive sudden, massive loss of lung tissue from necrotizing pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome often recover full pulmonary function within six months.

Correspondingly, we recently demonstrated lung regeneration in mice following H1N1 influenza virus infection, and linked distal airway stem cells expressing Trp63 (p63) and keratin 5 (Krt5) to this process. Here we show that [these cells] undergo a proliferative expansion in response to influenza-induced lung damage, and assemble into nascent alveoli at sites of interstitial lung inflammation.


I live in Canada and I like to join a clinical trial for the p63+/Krt5+ lung stem cells regeneration

Posted by: Ahmad Turk at November 15th, 2014 9:39 PM

Pharmacist's wife had single lung transplant. Native right lung remains with 20-25% function. Please remit info helpful for lung tissue regeneration following pulmonary fibrosis with single transplant -- thanks, E W Furgurson Pharmacist

Posted by: ernest furgurson at January 5th, 2015 9:15 PM

I have a nephew who was wounded in Iraq and has lung damage would this stem cell research benefit him

Posted by: Brenda Thompson at February 10th, 2015 11:33 AM

I have COPD, will this technique improve my lungs functions.

Posted by: John H at February 25th, 2015 7:35 PM

I also have COPD and am wondering if there has been an advancement with this on-going prognoses...

Posted by: Randy Brindle at March 11th, 2015 7:57 PM

I have Stage 2 (moderate) COPD. I have heard that amino acids can regenerate lung tissue. Can lung tissue regenerate and if so, what other drugs, herbs, and vitamins can help it along? What is the truth please?

Posted by: Aaron Ollis at March 16th, 2015 11:11 AM

I have been told I have COPD. I would like to partake in the study.

Posted by: Paul Rosenbauer at April 3rd, 2015 8:22 PM

Hello , i live in toronto, i have cystic fibrosis, my lung fuctions are 40% and it seems like the numbers are going down, i would like to know more about the clinical trials of p63+/Krt5+ lung stem cell, and if i can be a part of it.

Posted by: omar naik at April 4th, 2015 11:00 PM

I would be interested in participating in lung regeneration research.

Posted by: roger sweeney at April 6th, 2015 1:34 PM

Lungs are scarring. Drs don't know why. Diagnosed w valley fever in Jan 2013, but its been under control. Im interested in lung regeneration.

Posted by: holly caplan at April 9th, 2015 12:47 AM

This is strong evidence that the body can restore its organs and functions to normal.Research must be actively focused in this direction a.s.a.p for lung diseases afflict many people around the world. Nobody would like to lose any of his/her loved ones to lung disease.

Posted by: Fabricio at April 15th, 2015 8:31 AM

I have IPF & on 02 24-7. I have heard many negatives about the use of Esbriet. Not sure about Ofev
Regeneration of the lungs would be a great medical advancement for those of us with this terrible disease. Nothing is available at this time to accomplish this.

Posted by: Arnie Copeland at April 15th, 2015 1:26 PM

I have had COPD for 5 years. I am on as much medicine as possible, stopped smoking and I still cannot walk a small incline without getting breathless. I would like to find out how I can participate in a trial.

Posted by: Nancy McGuire at June 19th, 2015 5:17 PM

I COPD. I Take 10mg predisolone daily and inhalers. My lung function is 30%. I am keen to avail ot th above treatment research. Can you please email me. I live in Northern Ireland.

Posted by: Jacinta McParland at September 6th, 2015 11:59 AM

Hello, my name is Tom. I'm 26 years of age and I'm looking at hopefully (fingers crossed) getting put on oxygen today. This study on lung regeneration sounds like it could be a real winner with fighting lung destroying illnesses. Hopefully y'all figure it out to where people that are surviving with partial lungs and low oxygen levels can breath easy without being force to going thru the double lung transplants to breath normally. Good luck!!!

Posted by: Thomas jahns at September 30th, 2015 5:01 AM

I'm diagnosed with COPD with scar tissue in lower lobes of both lungs.My health is fair to good and I live in Western Washington. Would there be any medical trials/treatment that I might benefit from. My age is 59 years.

Posted by: Rick Myers at December 12th, 2015 4:01 PM

i am in good health except for copd . 76 years old would be willing to travel for treatment

Posted by: thomas j thomas at December 30th, 2015 5:30 PM

My mom has COPD please let us know about any possible studies/treatments.

Posted by: Sara Kirstos at January 8th, 2016 5:21 PM

ARDS since July 2015. Looking for any studies and treatments. Thanks

Posted by: Mark rowe at January 17th, 2016 3:41 PM

I am 75 years old and was diagnosed with emphysema 16 years ago. I'm now at the stage where I start to struggle at the slightest exertion.

Further, this is complicated by heart failure. I have undergone two rounds of stem cell treatment but unfortunately too no avail.

I would be most interested to hear of any trials, etc. which may be of some help..



Posted by: Norm Bourne at March 10th, 2016 7:18 PM

Please tell me if there are any clinical trails being done. I have copd.


Posted by: Viji Sundaram at April 24th, 2016 12:29 AM

I am 40, in remission after treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which profoundly damaged my lungs. I have severe obstructive lung disease and bronchiectasis. Would be grateful for any information regarding the studies and trials in which I could participate.

Posted by: Vickie at June 20th, 2016 7:04 AM

I am Greg, and I live in Baltimore. I have cystic fibrosis, with very low lung function at this time, and I am nearing a need for a transplant, if I am to survive, but this sounds better, if it's doable. How can I find out more about this, so that I can attempt to apply?

Posted by: Greg at June 30th, 2016 12:31 AM

I found to help you to breathe better get close to the sea its oxygen rich there. I have COPD and my lung function is below 20% but I noticed the breathing improve when I went close to the sea hope this helps. Oh and by the way. I'm seeking salt therapy. Heard that helps too

Posted by: Bev gower at July 12th, 2016 1:09 AM

I too would be very interested in stem cell/lung regeneration attempts. I live in Australia. Specialist is sure I have pulmonary fibrosis but I await confirmation.
I have reduced lung capacity but enough left to be fairly healthy and capable of lung regeneration :-)
I'm staying on the positive side anyway.

Posted by: Tania at July 18th, 2016 11:12 PM

I am 60 years old and have severe COPD. I am healthy otherwise but can tell I am losing lung function. I stopped smoking 25 years ago. Please let me know how I can get this treatment. I am desperate to get help.

Posted by: Kim at October 15th, 2016 9:51 AM

Age 77. Diagnosed with emphysema in late 2004. According to lung doctor,

two months ago, I only have 30% of my lung capacity.

Are there supplements, vitamins, etc. that could help me, while I await the

cure ? Thank you, Maxine

Posted by: Maxine Tesche at November 13th, 2016 4:44 PM

I also have COPD, I am very interested in the progress of regeneration.... I'm desperate to recapture some of my lung function as I'm now at stage 3

I live in England


Posted by: David Atherall at January 6th, 2017 12:30 AM

My elderly mother (in her 80s) was diagnosed with emphysema about 8 years ago. She has approximately 20% lung function. We are aware that she doesn't have much time left, but would like to make the remaining of her life as enjoyable/functional as possible. I have been reading about the regenerative medicine/treatment that was published in 2011 by the Mayo Clinic. Is this treatment now available to the public? If not, can you suggest any natural remedies that could aid in the comfort of my mother? She is currently on perforomist and spiriva. Thank you for your time, Karen

Posted by: Karen at January 8th, 2017 12:57 AM

I have severe copd what type supplements can I take to improve my lungs

Posted by: derren meteye at January 15th, 2017 8:55 PM

I would like nothing better than to be in a trial for this p63+/Kr+5+ miracle. I have always had a very strong and health body, and I did not exercise, even as a child. I've never been really sick or or even
have any broken bones. I do believe that I have strong knees. Please consider me! Thank you! Sincerely.Linda C. Haithcock

Posted by: Linda Haithcock at June 21st, 2017 11:43 PM

I am stage 3 copd and have been written off as the end of line treatment. i live in england and the lung hospital in london has nothing for me. So basically i am looking for some sort treatment. i am trying out the salt cave therapy at the moment, hoping it will help me with breathing, although its not a cure.
i have read about lung regeneration before and would love to give it a go.
anyone with any ideas on how to get this treatment. when desperation kicks in you will try anything. i am only 67 so i have another 30 years in me, but not like this.

Posted by: david at June 30th, 2017 3:34 PM

Iv PRP can be tried to regenerate pneumocytes. In PRP, thre are numerous growth factors which can synergistically orchestrate and initiate regeneration not only lungs but the entire system. Oneof the mainGF in PRP is GDF 11 ( Growth Development Factor 11). Unforturnately, reseachers are not interested in PRP ( Platelet Rich Plasma) as it can not be patented.
Prp has been widely used in facial regereration and rejuvenation.

Posted by: Rahmat Haroun at October 13th, 2017 1:35 AM

Hepatocyte growth factor HGF and KGF (keratinocyte Growth Factor) can be havestested by PRP Apharesis. A simple technic can be done at clinic level.
Findings from animal models of pulmonary fibrosis show that HGF can inhibit both the initiation and progression of lung fibrosis (Figure 3). However, the critical mechanism(s) for HGF protection of the lung from fibrotic remodeling and promotion of normal tissue regeneration remains poorly understood. HGF directly induces epithelial and endothelial proliferation and survival, and may indirectly modulate myofibroblast accumulation in the lung after injury. Despite the potential clinical applications for HGF for wound repair and prevention of fibrotic remodeling, its complex structure has precluded its development for clinical use. The future development and study of HGF mimetics and/or Met agonists may aid in the understanding of HGF mechanisms of tissue repair as well as provide potential therapies for treatment of lung fibrosis.

Posted by: Rahmat Haroun at October 13th, 2017 3:20 AM

i was diagnosed in 2008 emphysema, i have 20% lung function and am on oxygen most of day and all night, i can hardly breathe now some days if i do the most simplest of tasks.
i have been on salt therapy , but doesnt seem to help only hope now is wait for something else to come along.
i have tried cannabis oil , but nothing also.
regeneration seems to be the only hope now.

Posted by: david barrett at November 1st, 2017 8:26 AM

I am a 59 yr old Native American female. I have stopped smoking. My lungs make whistli g noises when i breathe. I am available for clinical trial, please. I wish I never smoked.

Posted by: Meedella Chippewa at November 27th, 2017 9:53 AM

I quit smoking in 1999 and I am interested in lung regeneration. I am still at 60% lung function for my age. I have went through two lung rehabilitation classes, I walk at least 4 days a week, I do Qigong, Yoga, and Tai Chi at least 3 times a week, which helps me improve my lung function. However, that being said, I am starting to have more and more difficulty breathing. Would the stem cell therapy work for me.

Posted by: Carolyn Neufeld at January 10th, 2018 12:45 PM

My aunt has a lung condition that doctors say is irreversible. She was on a transplant list and got denied because of some medications she was taking . I think she could benefit from this research. She is on oxygen full time and I know that she wants to be back to normal and live without having to be on oxygen constantly. Please help.

Posted by: Leslie Snow at June 26th, 2018 6:44 AM

i have chronic copd and is scheduled too meet with a doctor this week;also i'm waiting for the results of a lung biopsy

Posted by: craig chisolm at July 17th, 2018 6:39 AM

Where can one find answers to these questions posed. I am doing research and I also have severe COPD

Posted by: MelissaP at August 2nd, 2018 4:51 PM

I smoked cigarettes for over 70 years and came down with severe emphysema. I am 84 years old.
I was constantly out of breath and was almost completely unable to perform even the easiest physical tasks.
Other than inhaling Spiriva, I took no other action.
About a year ago my lung tissues spontaneously commenced regeneration Though significantly improved, I am still short of breath.
What triggered the regeneration?

Posted by: Al F Fraser at August 13th, 2018 6:21 AM

I have recently suffered bi-lateral pulmonary emboli caused by a severe reaction to a biologic drug for rheumatoid arthritis. Is there any space on a programme to include myself in trials. I live in the UK.

Posted by: Lynn watts at August 23rd, 2018 12:17 PM

Hi I've been put on. Oxygen I would like to know more about your research

Posted by: Ade at August 27th, 2018 8:46 PM

I suffer from copd. It is a daily pain . Hope that scientists will prove that lungs can regenerate and find medicines for it as soon as possible.

Posted by: Anil kumar gupta at October 16th, 2018 12:26 PM

I am very interested in what you are doing, and believe the lung and other body parts can regenerate.i have copd and there isn't a day that goes by that I am not searching for an answer. I believe in what your doing, and would love to be part of your research. Thank you Cindy gunnarson

Posted by: Cindy at October 26th, 2018 11:04 AM

So many asking if they can be a part of a trial or how to get this. I'm not sure why there is a comment section.

Posted by: vicki at November 10th, 2018 4:34 AM

I'm not sure why people think the comment section of a blog is a trial enrollment form.

Posted by: Antonio at November 11th, 2018 3:14 PM

I was diagnosed in August 2018 with IPF after having a lobectomy for lung cancer. Loss of upper right lobe along with following chemo therapy significantly worsened the IPF.

I would be greatly interested in this stem cell therapy.

Posted by: Frank at March 21st, 2019 10:26 AM

I have Chronic Asthma and want a cure so that I can live a normal life.
Constant wheezing, even when taking the strongest medications.

Posted by: Sam at April 6th, 2019 6:23 AM

I find this very interesting and would love to be in a trial. I just turned 68 and have had cops for a lot of years. Am finding it more difficult to breath freely. I have young grandkids and would love to be alive to see them grow up. Thank you for any consideration.

Posted by: Diana Suggs at April 12th, 2019 10:37 PM

Dr said my husband has ptb damaged left lungs please I,LL be interested in this treatment please we are in Nigeria thanks
And please what help can you render

Posted by: Mercy Musa at June 18th, 2019 9:36 AM

My girlfriend has had COPD for years. Currently, at Stage 3, it has severely inhibited her normally active lifestyle. She is on several medications, as well as oxygen 24 hours a day.

She realizes she'll never be the jogger she once was, but we need to get her back to as normal as possible. Simple things like going to the market with me, walking the dogs, working in the garden, are out of her reach at this time. Giving her this glimmer of hope means the world to us both.

We'd love to find out more information about any trials that might help her. Please, and thank you.

Posted by: Chris Franklin at June 28th, 2019 8:22 AM

I'm from South Africa and diagnosed with bilateral plural effusion for years. now I'm not taking any medication yet but I'm on oxygen most of the time, I can't do any physical activities that I used to sometimes even doing the bed is a struggle, so this being's hope to many of us.
Thank you

Posted by: Christopher at July 13th, 2019 7:40 AM

My son is 10 yrs old and diagnosed with COPD/Bronchiolitis Obliterans due to Chemotherapy also PPFE please help if his lung can be regenerate He's one strong kids....He's not a candidate for a Lung Transplant....Will the Stem Cell work to regenerate his lung...Trying won't hurt

Posted by: C McKinney at July 17th, 2019 9:22 AM

I have a rare lung condition called BOOP. I am very interested in stem cell therapy as I would like my oxygen levels to be up. Please contact me for a study. Thank you

Posted by: Julie Marks at August 17th, 2019 5:10 PM

I have COPD for 5 years. Current in bad stage that need oxygen. Hope any clinical trial can help repair my damaged lung. Urgent need, thanks

Posted by: Huixin Li at October 28th, 2019 6:36 AM

hello, i have had copd for many years now and can longer do physical activity or walk very far.. dont know how much longer i can work to support my family.. i would like to be involved in clinical trials..

Posted by: jesse harvey at November 15th, 2019 8:11 PM

Im very interested in stem cell therapy as I have diminished lung function and want to increase my oxygen levels. Please contact me for any study information. Thank you

Posted by: Jody Anderson at November 20th, 2019 5:29 AM

My aunt has holes in Lungs and can this help her deteriorating condition. I am very much interested in this. This is sos for help. She is just 43.please I want to save her life

Posted by: Ruchira at November 25th, 2019 1:09 AM

Have a severe cough will this help me ?

Posted by: Richard Gardipee at February 19th, 2020 9:48 AM

Please contact me for participation, I have endstage COPD I need help

Posted by: Joe Mauceri at February 27th, 2020 7:26 PM

I have addison disease, I'm pretty much healthy but I have mild asthma, with some scaring on my lungs due to scarlett fever when I was little, and wondering if this would could help me?

Posted by: Kelly McFadden at April 2nd, 2020 12:44 AM

Is there a clinical trial for this in bronchiectasis patients?

Posted by: S. Adams at April 29th, 2020 6:44 PM

is there any clinical trial ongoing in Canada that is available to patients with COPD. Regeneration therapy sounds very exciting and I would love to learn more about it

Posted by: Bill Wright at May 15th, 2020 7:23 AM

I have COPD and are on oxygen 24/7. Are there still trials being done? I'm only 52 and would love to have a chance at 20+ years left.

Posted by: Vernon D Noland at May 19th, 2020 6:06 AM

Stage 2 where are these trials I want to join

Posted by: VERONICA CHRISTOPHER-FELLOWS at June 2nd, 2020 8:38 AM

Is this trial still ongoing and is it available in Canada? I had a lung resection 4 years ago due to lung cancer and was fortunate enough to not have caught it very early so didn't required chemo or radiation. I'd very much like to learn more about this.

Posted by: Michele Green at June 13th, 2020 10:18 PM

I am Restituto 59 years old. My xray shows that my left lung is not functionable. Is theere a possibilty that it could be regenerated? How could I apply for that p63/krt5 stem cell theraphy? Please enlighten me.

Posted by: Restituto Bondoc at July 4th, 2020 10:11 PM

I have severe bronchitis and wonder If I got this would help me. I am also on oxygen and I'm 56 years old.

Posted by: Neil Scriven at July 15th, 2020 4:22 PM

Hi my husband is suffering from lungs with holes
What medication can he take?
Are the lungs going to generate again?

Posted by: Thandi at August 29th, 2020 1:21 PM

I smoked from 1955 to 2008. Many a times heavily. I have COPD.and .. . Iinhale rotacaps. I hope there is medicine which regenerates my lungs.
I daily do breathing exercises and feel better. I am 84

Posted by: R K Shah at September 11th, 2020 5:33 AM

About 7 years ago I was diagnosed with copd. At the time I was 67 and was told I had the lungs of an 84 year old. I instantly stopped smoking, though a year or so later I did switch to vaping.

Within the past 5 years, I've taken up cycling. Now, at the age of 74, I cycle 25-30km at least 5 days a week. I've also started watching my diet, and do regular core exercises. The upshot is that I've lost 20kg in weight - currently around 85kg at 1.85cm tall.

Before starting my regime, as well as copd, I had high sugar (pre-diabetic), high blood pressure, neurological pain, and ibs. Now, the symptoms have all disappeared and I take absolutely no medication. My bp is typically 125/75, and my resting pulse rate under 60.

Interestingly, and most relevant to this article, I am convinced my lung function has also improved. I can cope with fairly steep hills on my bicycle, I no longer wheeze when lying down, and I rarely cough up phlegm. Is it possible my lungs have regenerated some of the tissue lost during my smoking years?

Posted by: David at November 18th, 2020 10:08 PM

My uncle is dealing with covid right now with completely destroyed lungs. Where can i get this therapy and try it on him?

Posted by: manita at January 8th, 2021 8:06 PM

I have bronchiecstasis from Pneumonia. Will this trial help me?

Posted by: Lena Haydel at March 30th, 2021 8:22 PM

My mother is suffering from severely low oxygen saturation due to her Covid 19 infection. The doctor says she needs to get her lungs back open and breathing. Where can I get this therapy? Will it help my mother restore her lungs ability to breathe normally? She has never had any issue with her lungs before. Please help

Posted by: Harish Kumar at May 10th, 2021 7:34 PM

My mother, 78 yo, suffers from COPD. She was diagnosed approximately 10 years ago and she is currently on oxygen full time. She is of Asian decent. I have learned from her pulmonologist that Asians have smaller lungs that makes them more susceptible to loss of full lung function. She was a light smoker but her pulmonologist feels the degeneration of her lungs were related to hazardous environmental exposure of unknown origin, in addition to smoking. Since all of her lungs are affected, currently there no treatment options available. Can she be considers for this clinical trial?

Posted by: Sonya aldrich at June 18th, 2021 1:47 PM
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