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Eur Respir Rev. 2017 Jun 28;26(144). pii: 170054. doi: 10.1183/16000617.0054-2017. Print 2017 Jun 30.

Intersections of lung progenitor cells, lung disease and lung cancer.

Kim CF1,2,3.

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Stem Cell Program, Division of Hematology/Oncology and Division of Respiratory Disease, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Dept of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA.


The use of stem cell biology approaches to study adult lung progenitor cells and lung cancer has brought a variety of new techniques to the field of lung biology and has elucidated new pathways that may be therapeutic targets in lung cancer. Recent results have begun to identify the ways in which different cell populations interact to regulate progenitor activity, and this has implications for the interventions that are possible in cancer and in a variety of lung diseases. Today's better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate lung progenitor cell self-renewal and differentiation, including understanding how multiple epigenetic factors affect lung injury repair, holds the promise for future better treatments for lung cancer and for optimising the response to therapy in lung cancer. Working between platforms in sophisticated organoid culture techniques, genetically engineered mouse models of injury and cancer, and human cell lines and specimens, lung progenitor cell studies can begin with basic biology, progress to translational research and finally lead to the beginnings of clinical trials.

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