Therapeutic potential of human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) from cancer patients: a pilot study

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 20;9(11):e113288. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113288. eCollection 2014.


Mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue (ADSCs) are an important source of cells for regenerative medicine. The therapeutic effect of culture-expanded adipose derived stem cells has been shown; however, optimal xeno-free culture conditions remain to be determined. Cancer patients, specifically those undergoing invasive surgery, constitute a subgroup of patients who could benefit from autologous stem cell transplantation. Although regenerative potential of their ADSCs could be affected by the disease and/or treatment, we are not aware of any study that has evaluated the therapeutic potential of ADSCs isolated from cancer patients in reference to that of ADSCs derived from healthy subjects. Here we report that ADSCs isolated from subabdominal adipose tissue of patients with urological neoplasms yielded similar growth kinetics, presented equivalent mesenchymal surface markers and showed similar differentiation potential into distinct mesodermal cell lineages: adipocytes, chondroblasts and osteoblasts than ADSCs isolated from adipose tissue of age-matched non-oncogenic participants, all under xeno-free growth culture conditions. Molecular karyotyping of patient expanded ADSCs genomes showed no disease-related alterations indicating their safety. In addition, vesicles <100 nm identified as exosomes (EXOs) which may be at least partly responsible for the attributed therapeutic paracrine effects of the ADSCs were effectively isolated from ADSCs and showed equivalent miRNA content regardless they were derived from cancer patients or non-oncogenic participants indicating that the repair capabilities of xeno-free expanded ADSCs are not compromised by patient condition and therefore their xeno-free culture expanded ADSCs should be suitable for autologous stem cell transplantation in a clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Exosomes / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Pilot Projects
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / cytology*
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / pathology
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Urologic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Urologic Neoplasms / therapy


  • MicroRNAs

Grant support

This work was supported by Generalitat Valenciana (grants AP-014-10 and AP-222-11 to JMHA), Universidad Católica de Valencia “San Vicente Mártir” (grant 2012-006-010 to JMHA) (grants 2011-011-02, 2011-011-04 and 2012-011-008 to EO), and the AITEX Institute of Technology (grant 2011-011-015 to EO). MGC received a fellowship from the Universidad Católica de Valencia “San Vicente Mártir”. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.