Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related tumor originating in mesothelial cells of the pleura that poorly responds to chemotherapeutic approaches. Adult mesenchymal stromal cells derived either from bone marrow or from adipose tissue may be considered a good model for cell-based therapy, a treatment which has experienced significant interest in recent years. The present study confirms that Paclitaxel is effective on mesothelioma cell proliferation in 2D and 3D in vitro cultures, and that 80,000 mesenchymal stromal cells loaded with Paclitaxel inhibit tumor growth at a higher extent than Paclitaxel alone. An in vivo approach to treat in situ mesothelioma xenografts using a minimal amount of 106 mesenchymal stromal cells loaded with Paclitaxel showed the same efficacy of a systemic administration of 10 mg/kg of Paclitaxel. These data strongly support drug delivery system by mesenchymal stromal cells as a useful approach against many solid tumors. We look with interest at the favourable opinion recently expressed by the Italian Drug Agency on the procedure for the preparation of mesenchymal stromal cells loaded with Paclitaxel in large-scale bioreactor systems and their storage until clinical use. This new Advanced Medicinal Therapy Product, already approved for a Phase I clinical trial on mesothelioma patients, could pave the way for mesenchymal stromal cells use as drug delivery system on other solid tumors for adjuvant therapy associated with surgery and radiotherapy.
Keywords: Drug delivery; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Mesothelioma; Paclitaxel.
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