Mesenchymal Stem Cells: An Emerging Tool for Cancer Targeting and Therapy

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Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy (Impact Factor: 2.21). 02/2008; 3(1):32-42. DOI: 10.2174/157488808783489462
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Importantly, the innate tropism of MSC for tumors makes these cells particularly effective for the cellular delivery of anti-cancer molecules including cytokines, interferons, or pro-drugs [14]–[16]. Moreover, the use of genetically-modified MSCs may represent an efficient alternative therapy capable of circumventing limitations associated with the systemic administration of some cytokines and drugs such as short half-life and toxicity [17]. Recent advances in the field of gene therapy have generated heightened expectations regarding the improvement of treatment for advanced malignancies, including melanoma [18], [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AT-MSCs) are attractive cell-therapy vehicles for the delivery of anti-tumor molecules into the tumor microenvironment. The innate tropism of AT-MSCs for tumors has important implications for effective cellular delivery of anti-tumor molecules, including cytokines, interferon, and pro-drugs. The present study was designed to determine the possibility that the combination of stem cell-based gene therapy with low-dose cisplatin would improve therapeutic efficacy against canine melanoma. The IFN-β transduced canine AT-MSCs (cAT-MSC-IFN-β) inhibited the growth of LMeC canine melanoma cells in direct and indirect in vitro co-culture systems. In animal experiments using BALB/c nude mouse xenografts, which developed by injecting LMeC cells, the combination treatment of cAT-MSC-IFN-β and low-dose cisplatin significantly reduced tumor volume compared with the other treatment groups. Fluorescent microscopic analysis with a TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling) assay of tumor section provided evidence for homing of cAT-MSC-IFN-β to the tumor site and revealed that the combination treatment of cAT-MSC-IFN-β with low-dose cisplatin induced high levels of cell apoptosis. These findings may prove useful in further explorations of the application of these combined approaches to the treatment of malignant melanoma and other tumors.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Unfortunately , the tumor and wound microenvironments share a lot of similarities [4] and MSC have been shown to similarly respond to tumor-associated inflammatory signals and home to malignant sites [5]. While this MSC tumor tropism has been encouragingly exploited to develop tumor targeting strategies [6], it also indicates that caution is required when delivering MSC to cancer-surviving patients for regenerative purposes [7e9]. A number of studies have stressed the in vivo recruitment of MSC by pre-or co-injected cancer cell lines in a variety of animal models and the subsequent promotion (or inhibition) of either tumor growth or metastasis (Table 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer treatment generally relies on tumor ablative techniques that can lead to major functional or disfiguring defects. These post-therapy impairments require the development of safe regenerative therapy strategies during cancer remission. Many current tissue repair approaches exploit paracrine (immunomodulatory, pro-angiogenic, anti-apoptotic and pro-survival effects) or restoring (functional or structural tissue repair) properties of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC). Yet, a major concern in the application of regenerative therapies during cancer remission remains the possible triggering of cancer recurrence. Tumor relapse implies the persistence of rare subsets of tumor-initiating cancer cells which can escape anti-cancer therapies and lie dormant in specific niches awaiting reactivation via unknown stimuli. Many of the components required for successful regenerative therapy (revascularization, immunosuppression, cellular homing, tissue growth promotion) are also critical for tumor progression and metastasis. While bidirectional crosstalk between tumorigenic cells (especially aggressive cancer cell lines) and MSC (including tumor stroma-resident populations) has been demonstrated in a variety of cancers, the effects of local or systemic MSC delivery for regenerative purposes on persisting cancer cells during remission remain controversial. Both pro- and anti-tumorigenic effects of MSC have been reported in the literature. Our own data using breast cancer clinical isolates have suggested that dormant-like tumor-initiating cells do not respond to MSC signals, unlike actively dividing cancer cells which benefited from the presence of supportive MSC. The secretome of MSC isolated from various tissues may partially diverge, but it includes a core of cytokines (i.e. CCL2, CCL5, IL-6, TGFβ, VEGF), which have been implicated in tumor growth and/or metastasis. This article reviews published models for studying interactions between MSC and cancer cells with a focus on the impact of MSC secretome on cancer cell activity, and discusses the implications for regenerative therapy after cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Biochimie
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    • "MSCs home to tumors as a result of cytokine and chemokine expression in the tumor microenvironment. The efficacy of MSCs as a therapeutic tool has been tested through the targeted delivery of exogenously expressed soluble factors [19], [20]. For example, patients with heart damage have received MSCs that home to damaged and necrotic tissue for wound repair [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer recurrence involves increased growth of cancer epithelial cells, as androgen dependent prostate cancer progresses to castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) following initial therapy. Understanding CRPC prostate regrowth will provide opportunities for new cancer therapies to treat advanced disease. Elevated chemokine expression in the prostate stroma of a castrate resistant mouse model, Tgfbr2(fspKO), prompted us to look at the involvement of bone marrow derived cells (BMDCs) in prostate regrowth. We identified bone marrow cells recruited to the prostate in GFP-chimeric mice. A dramatic increase in BMDC recruitment for prostate regrowth occurred three days after exogenous testosterone implantation. Recruitment led to incorporation of BMDCs within the prostate epithelia. Immunofluorescence staining suggested BMDCs in the prostate coexpressed androgen receptor; p63, a basal epithelial marker; and cytokeratin 8, a luminal epithelial marker. A subset of the BMDC population, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), were specifically found to be incorporated in the prostate at its greatest time of remodeling. Rosa26 expressing MSCs injected into GFP mice supported MSC fusion with resident prostate epithelial cells through co-localization of β-galactosidase and GFP during regrowth. In a human C4-2B xenograft model of CRPC, MSCs were specifically recruited. Injection of GFP-labeled MSCs supported C4-2B tumor progression by potentiating canonical Wnt signaling. The use of MSCs as a targeted delivery vector for the exogenously expressed Wnt antagonist, secreted frizzled related protein-2 (SFRP2), reduced tumor growth, increased apoptosis and potentiated tumor necrosis. Mesenchymal stem cells fuse with prostate epithelia during the process of prostate regrowth. MSCs recruited to the regrowing prostate can be used as a vehicle for transporting genetic information with potential therapeutic effects on castrate resistant prostate cancer, for instance by antagonizing Wnt signaling through SFRP2.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2010 · PLoS ONE
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