Engineered mesenchymal stem cells as an anti-cancer trojan horse

Adam Nowakowski, Katarzyna Drela, Justyna Rozycka, Miroslaw Janowski, Barbara Lukomska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cell-based gene therapy holds a great promise for the treatment of human malignancy. Among different cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are emerging as valuable anti-cancer agents that have the potential to be used to treat a number of different cancer types. They have inherent migratory properties, which allow them to serve as vehicles for delivering effective therapy to isolated tumors and metastases. MSCs have been engineered to express anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-angiogenic agents that specifically target different cancers. Another field of interest is to modify MSCs with the cytokines that activate pro-tumorigenic immunity or to use them as carriers for the traditional chemical compounds that possess the properties of anti-cancer drugs. Although there is still controversy about the exact function of MSCs in the tumor settings, the encouraging results from the preclinical studies of MSC-based gene therapy for a large number of tumors support the initiation of clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1531
Number of pages19
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Nowakowski, A., Drela, K., Rozycka, J., Janowski, M., & Lukomska, B. (2016). Engineered mesenchymal stem cells as an anti-cancer trojan horse. Stem Cells and Development, 25(20), 1513-1531.