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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
28-Apr-2013

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Contact: Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22370
BioMed Central
@biomedcentral

Clarifying the effect of stem cell therapy on cancer

Injection of human stem cells into mice with tumors slowed down tumor growth, finds research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), isolated from bone marrow, caused changes in blood vessels supplying the tumor, and it is this modification of blood supply which seems to impact tumor growth.

The use of stem cells in treating cancer has been controversial, with some studies finding that stem cells force tumors to enter programmed cell death. However other studies find that stem cells actually promote tumor growth by inducing infiltration of new blood vessels. In attempting to sort out this puzzle researchers from INSERM groups at Université Joseph Fourier in collaboration with CHU de Grenoble investigated the impact of MSC on already established subcutaneous or lung metastasis in mice.

For both the subcutaneous and lung tumors, injection of MSC reduced cell division, consequently slowing the rate of tumor growth. Part of the mode of action of stem cells therefore appears to be due to with angiogenesis, but the mechanism behind this is still unclear.

Claire Rome who led this study explained, "We found that MSC altered vasculature inside the tumor - although new blood vessels were generated, overall they were longer and fewer than in untreated tumors. This could be restricting the oxygen and nutrients to the tumor, limiting cell division." She continued, "Our study confirms others which propose that stem cells, in particular MSC, might be one way forwards in treating cancer."

Commenting on this study Celia Gomes, from the University of Coimbra, said, "One of the interesting questions this study raises is when MSC promote tumor growth and when they restrict it. The answer seems to be timing - this study looks at already established tumors, while others, which find that MSC increase growth, tend to be investigating new tumors. This is a first step in the path to identifying exactly which patients might benefit from stem cell therapy and who will not."

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Media Contact

Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2370
Mob: +44 (0) 778 698 1967
Email: hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com

Notes to Editors

1. Research

The dual effect of MSCs on tumour growth and tumour angiogenesis

Michelle Kéramidas, Florence de Fraipont, Anastassia Karageorgis, Anaïck Moisan, Virginie Persoons, Marie-Jeanne Richard, Jean-Luc Coll and Claire Rome

Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2013, 4:41

Commentary

The dual role of mesenchymal stem cells in tumor progression

Célia MF Gomes

Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2013, 4:42

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

2. Stem Cell Research & Therapy is the major forum for translational research into stem cell therapies. An international peer-reviewed journal, it publishes high quality open access research articles with a special emphasis on basic, translational and clinical research into stem cell therapeutics and regenerative therapies, including animal models and clinical trials. The journal also provides reviews, viewpoints, commentaries and reports.

3. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral



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