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Cancer Lett. 2011 Jun 1;305(1):8-20. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.02.012.

Potential implications of mesenchymal stem cells in cancer therapy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the first type of stem cells to be utilized in clinical regenerative medicine, mainly owing to their capacity for multipotent differentiation and the feasibility of autologous transplantation. More recently, the specific tumor-oriented migration and incorporation of MSCs have been demonstrated in various pre-clinical models, highlighting the potential for MSCs to be used as an ideal carrier for anticancer gene delivery. Engineered with specific anticancer genes, MSCs possess the ability of dual-targeting tumor cells. This contrasts with non-engineered native MSCs which have intrinsic pro- and anti-tumorigenic properties. Engineered MSCs are capable of producing specific anticancer agents locally and constantly. Astute investigation on engineered MSCs may lead to a new avenue toward an efficient therapy for patients with cancer.

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