Donor-derived human bone marrow cells contribute to solid organ cancers developing after bone marrow transplantation

Stem Cells. 2007 Nov;25(11):2903-9. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2007-0409. Epub 2007 Aug 9.


Bone marrow-derived stem cells have been shown to participate in solid organ repair after tissue injury. Animal models suggest that epithelial malignancies may arise as aberrant stem cell differentiation during tissue repair. We hypothesized that if bone marrow stem cells participate in human neoplasia, then solid organ cancers developing after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) might include malignant cells of donor origin. We identified four male patients who developed solid organ cancers (lung adenocarcinoma, laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, glioblastoma, and Kaposi sarcoma) after myeloablation, total body irradiation, and ABMT from female donors. Donor-derived malignant cells comprised 2.5%-6% of the tumor cellularity The presence of donor-derived malignant cells in solid organ cancers suggests that human bone marrow-derived stem cells have a role in solid organ cancer's carcinogenesis. However, the nature of this role is yet to be defined.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Cells* / pathology
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / methods
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors*