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Stem cells as vectors for antitumour therapy
  1. Michael R Loebinger,
  2. Sam M Janes
  1. Centre For Respiratory Research, Rayne Institute, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sam M Janes, Centre For Respiratory Research, Rayne Institute, University College London, 5 University Street, London WC1E 6JJ, UK; s.janes{at}


Recent research suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are able to migrate specifically to tumours and their metastases throughout the body. This has led to considerable excitement about the possibility of modifying these cells to express anticancer molecules and using them as specific targeted anticancer agents. However, there are concerns that systemically delivered MSCs may have non-desirable effects, and there are also many unanswered questions including the mechanism of tumour homing. This review investigates the different MSC-delivered anticancer agents, addresses the questions and concerns, and tries to place this potential therapy in future cancer management.

  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • apoptosis
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  • Funding MRL is a Medical Research Council (MRC) UK Clinical Training Fellow. SMJ was an MRC Clinician Scientist. This work was partly undertaken at UCLH/UCL, which received a proportion of funding from the Department of Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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