Are all stem cells equal? Systematic review, evidence map, and meta‐analyses of preclinical stem cell‐based therapies for bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Regenerative stem cell‐based therapies for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the most common preterm birth complication, demonstrate promise in animals. Failure to objectively appraise available preclinical data and identify knowledge gaps could jeopardize clinical translation. We performed a systematic review and network meta‐analysis (NMA) of preclinical studies testing cell‐based therapies in experimental neonatal lung injury. Fifty‐three studies assessing 15 different cell‐based therapies were identified: 35 studied the effects of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) almost exclusively in hyperoxic rodent models of BPD. Exploratory NMAs, for select outcomes, suggest that MSCs are the most effective therapy. Although a broad range of promising cell‐based therapies has been assessed, few head‐to‐head comparisons and unclear risk of bias exists. Successful clinical translation of cell‐based therapies demands robust preclinical experimental design with appropriately blinded, randomized, and statistically powered studies, based on biological plausibility for a given cell product, in standardized models and endpoints with transparent reporting.

Lead Researchers

Link to Publication


  1. Bernard Thébaud

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

    View Profile Email