Recent pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that stem cell-based therapies hold tremendous promise for the treatment of human disease. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are emerging as promising anti-cancer agents which have an enormous potential to be utilized to treat a number of different cancer types. MSC have inherent tumor-trophic migratory properties, which allows them to serve as vehicles for delivering effective, targeted therapy to isolated tumors and metastatic disease. MSC have been readily engineered to express anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenic agents that specifically target different cancer types. Many of these strategies have been validated in a wide range of studies evaluating treatment feasibility or efficacy, as well as establishing methods for real-time monitoring of stem cell migration in vivo for optimal therapy surveillance and accelerated development. This review aims to provide an in depth status of current MSC-based cancer therapies, as well as the prospects for their clinical translation.
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