Mesenchymal stem cells engineered for cancer therapy

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2012 Jun 1;64(8):739-48. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2011.06.010. Epub 2011 Jun 29.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents