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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6720594, 13 pages
Review Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Myeloid Malignancies: A Focus on Immune Escaping and Therapeutic Implications

UO Onco-Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via F. Sforza 35, 20100 Milano, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Nicola Stefano Fracchiolla

Received 7 April 2017; Revised 6 June 2017; Accepted 20 July 2017; Published 21 August 2017

Academic Editor: Marcella Franquesa

Copyright © 2017 Nicola Stefano Fracchiolla 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.


The importance of the bone marrow microenvironment forming the so-called niche in physiologic hemopoiesis is largely known, and recent evidences support the presence of stromal alterations from the molecular to the cytoarchitectural level in hematologic malignancies. Various alterations in cell adhesion, metabolism, cytokine signaling, autophagy, and methylation patterns of tumor-derived mesenchymal stem cells have been demonstrated, contributing to the genesis of a leukemic permissive niche. This niche allows both the ineffective haematopoiesis typical of myelodysplastic syndromes and the differentiation arrest, proliferation advantage, and clone selection which is the hallmark of acute myeloid leukemia. Furthermore, the immune system, both adaptive and innate, encompassing mesenchymal-derived cells, has been shown to take part to the leukemic niche. Here, we critically review the state of art about mesenchymal stem cell role in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia, focusing on immune escaping mechanisms as a target for available and future anticancer therapies.