Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have an inherent tropism for sites of inflammation, which are frequently present in sites of cancer, including prostatic lesions. MSCs have been defined as CD73/CD90/CD105 triple-positive cells in the absence of hematopoietic lineage markers with the ability to differentiate into multiple mesodermal lineages, including osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes. Our group has previously demonstrated that MSCs represent between 0.01 and 1.1% of the total cells present in human prostatectomy tissue. In addition to their multi-lineage differentiation potential, MSCs are immunoprivileged in nature and have a range of immunomodulatory effects on both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. MSCs have been detected in an increasing array of tissues, and evidence suggests that they are likely present in perivascular niches throughout the body. These observations suggest that MSCs represent critical mediators of the overall immune response during physiological homeostasis and likely contribute to pathophysiological conditions as well. Chronic inflammation has been suggested as an initiating event and progression factor in prostate carcinogenesis, a process in which the immunosuppressive properties of MSCs may play a role. MSCs have also been shown to influence malignant progression through a variety of other mechanisms, including effects on tumor proliferation, angiogenesis, survival, and metastasis. Additionally, human bone marrow-derived MSCs have been shown to traffic to human prostate cancer xenografts in immunocompromised murine hosts. The trafficking properties and immunoprivileged status of MSCs suggest that they can be exploited as an allogeneic cell-based vector to deliver cytotoxic or diagnostic agents for therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 governs essential functions of epithelial and hematopoietic cells that are often dysregulated in cancer. While the role for STAT3 in promoting the progression of many solid and hematopoietic malignancies is well established, this review will focus on the importance of STAT3 in prostate cancer progression to the incurable metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Indeed, STAT3 integrates different signaling pathways involved in the reactivation of androgen receptor pathway, stem like cells and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition that drive progression to mCRPC. As equally important, STAT3 regulates interactions between tumor cells and the microenvironment as well as immune cell activation. This makes it a major factor in facilitating prostate cancer escape from detection of the immune response, promoting an immunosuppressive environment that allows growth and metastasis. Based on the multifaceted nature of STAT3 signaling in the progression to mCRPC, the promise of STAT3 as a therapeutic target to prevent prostate cancer progression and the variety of STAT3 inhibitors used in cancer therapies is discussed.
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