International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-014-1537-7 Pages: 377-382

Cancer gene therapy using mesenchymal stem cells

1. Jichi Medical University, Division of Immuno-Gene and Cell Therapy (Takara Bio)

2. Jichi Medical University, Division of Genetic Therapeutics, Center for Molecular Medicine

3. Jichi Medical University, Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine

Correspondence to:
Ryosuke Uchibori
Tel: +81-285-587598
Fax: +81-285-446625



Cellular and gene therapies represent promising treatment strategies at the frontier of medicine. Hematopoietic stem cells, lymphocytes, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can all serve as sources of cells for use in such therapies. Strategies for gene therapy are often based on those of cell therapy, and it is anticipated that some examples will be put to practical use in the near future. Given their ability to support hematopoiesis, MSCs may be useful for the enhancement of stem cell engraftment, and the acceleration of hematopoietic reconstitution. Furthermore, MSCs may advance the treatment of severe graft-versus-host disease, based on their immunosuppressive ability. This application is also based on the homing behavior of MSCs to sites of injury and inflammation. Interestingly, MSCs possess tumor-homing ability, opening up the possibility of applications in the targeted delivery of anti-cancer genes to tumors. Many reports have indicated that MSCs can be utilized to target tumors and to deliver anti-cancer molecules locally, as tumors are recognized as non-healing wounds with inflammatory tissue. Here, we review both the potential of MSCs as cellular vehicles for targeted cancer therapy and the molecular mechanisms underlying MSC accumulation at tumor sites.

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