Lung transplantation, ex-vivo reconditioning and regeneration: state of the art and perspectives
Lung transplantation is the only therapeutic option for end-stage pulmonary failure. Nevertheless, the shortage of donor pool available for transplantation does not allow to satisfy the requests, thus the mortality on the waiting list remains high. One of the tools to overcome the donor pool shortage is the use of ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) to preserve, evaluate and recondition selected lung grafts not otherwise suitable for transplantation. EVLP is nowadays a clinical reality and have several destinations of use. After a narrative review of the literature and looking at our experience we can assume that one of the chances to improve the outcome of lung transplantation and to overcome the donor pool shortage could be the tissue regeneration of the graft during EVLP and the immunomodulation of the recipient. Both these strategies are performed using mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The results of the models of lung perfusion with MSC-based cell therapy open the way to a new innovative approach that further increases the potential for using of the lung perfusion platform.