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BioMed Research International
Volume 2019, Article ID 2820853, 12 pages
Review Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Cancer: Clinical Challenges and Opportunities

1Key Laboratory of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, The First Clinical Medical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China
2Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
3Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, Lui Che Woo Institute of Innovative Medicine, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
4Laboratory of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Lingnan Medical Research Center, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Gang Li; kh.ude.khuc@ilgnag, Leilei Chen; moc.anis@0101_naituy, and Liangliang Xu; nc.ude.mcuzg@6102-llux

Received 31 December 2018; Revised 19 March 2019; Accepted 10 April 2019; Published 8 May 2019

Academic Editor: Martin Bornhäuser

Copyright © 2019 Weiping Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Stem cell-based therapies exhibit profound therapeutic potential for treating various human diseases, including cancer. Among the cell types that can be used for this purpose, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are considered as promising source of stem cells in personalized cell-based therapies. The inherent tumor-tropic property of MSCs can be used to target cancer cells. Although the impacts of MSCs on tumor progression remain elusive, they have been genetically modified or engineered as targeted anticancer agents which could inhibit tumor growth by blocking different processes of tumor. In addition, there are close interactions between MSCs and cancer stem cells (CSCs). MSCs can regulate the growth of CSCs through paracrine mechanisms. This review aims to focus on the current knowledge about MSCs-based tumor therapies, the opportunities and challenges, as well as the prospective of its further clinical implications.