Toward Brain Tumor Gene Therapy Using Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Vectors.

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Gene therapy of solid cancers has been severely restricted by the limited distribution of vectors within tumors. However, cellular vectors have emerged as an effective migratory system for gene delivery to invasive cancers. Implanted and injected multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have shown tropism for several types of primary tumors and metastases. This capacity of MSCs forms the basis for their use as a gene vector system in neoplasms. Here, we review the tumor-directed migratory potential of MSCs, mechanisms of the migration, and the choice of therapeutic transgenes, with a focus on malignant gliomas as a model system for invasive and highly vascularized tumors. We examine recent findings demonstrating that MSCs share many characteristics with pericytes and that implanted MSCs localize primarily to perivascular niches within tumors, which might have therapeutic implications. The use of MSC vectors in cancer gene therapy raises concerns, however, including a possible MSC contribution to tumor stroma and vasculature, MSC-mediated antitumor immune suppression, and the potential malignant transformation of cultured MSCs. Nonetheless, we highlight the novel prospects of MSC-based tumor therapy, which appears to be a promising approach.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Genetics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1075
JournalMolecular Therapy
VolumeMay 4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

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