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Br J Cancer. 2012 Jun 5;106(12):1901-6. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.201. Epub 2012 May 17.

The role of mesenchymal stem cells in anti-cancer drug resistance and tumour progression.

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Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.


It is becoming increasingly clear that the tumour microenvironment has a very important role in tumour progression and drug resistance. Many different cell types within the tumour stroma have an effect on tumour progression either in a positive or in a negative way. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a distinct population of cells that have been linked with tumour growth. Mesenchymal stem cells can home to tumours where they modulate the immune system and facilitate tumour growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Recent studies have shown that MSCs also have an important role in the resistance to various anti-cancer drugs. This mini-review provides an overview of the functional properties of MSCs in tumour progression and drug resistance.

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