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, 14 (2), 129-141

Mesenchymal Stromal Cells' Role in Tumor Microenvironment: Involvement of Signaling Pathways


Mesenchymal Stromal Cells' Role in Tumor Microenvironment: Involvement of Signaling Pathways

Armel Herve Nwabo Kamdje et al. Cancer Biol Med.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells residing as pericytes in various tissues and organs where they can differentiate into specialized cells to replace dying cells and damaged tissues. These cells are commonly found at injury sites and in tumors that are known to behave like " wounds that do not heal." In this article, we discuss the mechanisms of MSCs in migrating, homing, and repairing injured tissues. We also review a number of reports showing that tumor microenvironment triggers plasticity mechanisms in MSCs to induce malignant neoplastic tissue formation, maintenance, and chemoresistance, as well as tumor growth. The antitumor properties and therapeutic potential of MSCs are also discussed.

Keywords: Mesenchymal stromal cells; chemoresistance; homing; migration; signaling pathways; systemic circulation; tumor modulation.


MSCs can induce cancer cell survival, stemness, and chemoresistance by differentiating into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) using a tumor growth factor β type 1 (TGFβ1)-dependent mechanism, and by releasing soluble factors that favor angiogenesis and immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment, such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). MSCs can mediate anti-cancer effects by releasing anti-cancer factors, such as tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL), via mechanisms that are not well understood.
MSC role in tumor microenvironment.

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