Mesenchymal stem cells: an emerging tool for cancer targeting and therapy.
ABSTRACT Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from post-natal bone marrow possess tremendous potential for cell-mediated gene therapy in several disease processes, and recent reports have broadened the spectrum for therapeutic applications to cancer therapy. The evidence that sites of active tumorigenesis favor the homing of exogenous MSCs have support the rationale for developing engineered MSCs as a tool to track malignant tissues and deliver anticancer agents within the tumor microenvironment. Several reports have proven the efficiency of MSCs as cell carrier for in vivo delivery of various clinically relevant anticancer factors, including cytokines, interferon, pro-drugs or replicative adenovirus, and tumor growth inhibition following engraftment within or in the vicinity of tumor. The enthusiasm for MSCs is further reinforced by the striking observation that unmodified MSCs can exert antitumorigenic activity, and preliminary reports in immunocompetent animals have provided encouraging results for the use of MSCs in cancer immunotherapy. This review highlights recent works and potential clinical applications of MSCs in this field.
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ABSTRACT: Background Metastatic spread of tumor cells remains a serious problem in cancer treatment. Gene-directed enzyme/prodrug therapy mediated by tumor-homing genetically engineered mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) represents a promising therapeutic modality for elimination of disseminated cells. Efficacy of gene-directed enzyme/prodrug therapy can be improved by combination of individual systems. We aimed to define the combination effect of two systems of gene therapy mediated by MSC, and evaluate the ability of systemically administered genetically engineered mesenchymal stromal cells to inhibit the growth of experimental metastases derived from human breast adenocarcinoma cells MDA-MB-231/EGFP. Methods Human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AT-MSC) were retrovirally transduced with fusion yeast cytosine deaminase::uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (CD::UPRT) or with Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSVtk). Engineered MSC were cocultured with tumor cells in the presence of prodrugs 5-fluorocytosin (5-FC) and ganciclovir (GCV). Combination effect of these enzyme/prodrug approaches was calculated. SCID/bg mice bearing experimental lung metastases were treated with CD::UPRT-MSC, HSVtk-MSC or both in combination in the presence of respective prodrug(s). Treatment efficiency was evaluated by EGFP-positive cell detection by flow cytometry combined with real-time PCR quantification of human cells in mouse organs. Results were confirmed by histological and immunohistochemical examination. Results We demonstrated various extent of synergy depending on tested cell line and experimental setup. The strongest synergism was observed on breast cancer-derived cell line MDA-MB-231/EGFP. Systemic administration of CD::UPRT-MSC and HSVtk-MSC in combination with 5-FC and GCV inhibited growth of MDA-MB-231 induced lung metastases. Conclusions Combined gene-directed enzyme/prodrug therapy mediated by MSC exerted synergic cytotoxic effect and resulted in high therapeutic efficacy in vivo. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13046-015-0149-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 12/2015; 34(1). DOI:10.1186/s13046-015-0149-2 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The tumor-homing property of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) allows targeted delivery of therapeutic genes into the tumor microenvironment. The application of sodium iodide symporter (NIS) as a theranostic gene allows non-invasive imaging of MSC biodistribution and transgene expression before therapeutic radioiodine application. We have previously shown that linking therapeutic transgene expression to induction of the chemokine CCL5/RANTES allows a more focused expression within primary tumors, as the adoptively transferred MSC develop carcinoma-associated fibroblast (CAF)-like characteristics. While RANTES/CCL5-NIS-targeting has shown efficacy in the treatment of primary tumors, it was not clear if it would also be effective in controlling the growth of metastatic disease. To expand the potential range of tumor targets we investigated the biodistribution and tumor recruitment of MSCs transfected with NIS under control of the RANTES/CCL5 promoter (RANTES-NIS-MSC) in a colon cancer liver metastasis mouse model established by intrasplenic injection of the human colon cancer cell line LS174t. RANTES-NIS-MSCs were injected intravenously followed by (123)I-scintigraphy and (124)I-PET imaging as well as (131)I therapy. Results show robust MSC recruitment with RANTES/CCL5-promoter activation within the stroma of liver metastases as evidenced by tumor-selective iodide accumulation, immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR. Therapeutic application of (131)I in RANTES-NIS-MSC-treated mice resulted in a significant delay in tumor growth and improved overall survival. This novel gene therapy approach opens the prospect of NIS-mediated radionuclide therapy of metastatic cancer after MSC-mediated gene delivery. Copyright © 2015 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.Journal of Nuclear Medicine 03/2015; 56(4). DOI:10.2967/jnumed.114.146662 · 5.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the development of some if not all cancer types and have been identified as attractive targets for prognosis, diagnosis, and therapy of the disease. miRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs (20-22 nt in length) that bind imperfectly to the 3'-untranslated region of target mRNA regulating gene expression. Aberrantly expressed miRNAs in cancer, sometimes known as oncomiRNAs, have been shown to play a major role in oncogenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. Amplification of oncomiRNAs during cancer development correlates with the silencing of tumor suppressor genes; on the other hand, down-regulation of miRNAs has also been observed in cancer and cancer stem cells (CSCs). In both cases, miRNA regulation is inversely correlated with cancer progression. Growing evidence indicates that miRNAs are also involved in the metastatic process by either suppressing or promoting metastasis-related genes leading to the reduction or activation of cancer cell migration and invasion processes. In particular, circulating miRNAs (vesicle-encapsulated or non-encapsulated) have significant effects on tumorigenesis: membrane-particles, apoptotic bodies, and exosomes have been described as providers of a cell-to-cell communication system transporting oncogenic miRNAs from tumors to neighboring cells and distant metastatic sites. It is hypothesized that miRNAs control cancer development in a traditional manner, by regulating signaling pathways and factors. In addition, recent developments indicate a non-conventional mechanism of cancer regulation by stem cell reprograming via a regulatory network consisting of miRNAs and Wnt/β-catenin, Notch, and Hedgehog signaling pathways, all of which are involved in controlling stem cell functions of CSCs. In this review, we focus on the role of miRNAs in the Notch-pathway and how they regulate CSC self-renewal, differentiation and tumorigenesis by direct/indirect targeting of the Notch-pathway.Frontiers in Oncology 01/2014; 4:389. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2014.00389