Examination of the engraftment of exogenous mesenchymal stem cells in ovarian tumors and their potential use as delivery vehicles for therapeutic genes
Interactions between neoplastic cells and the host stroma play a role in both tumor cell migration and proliferation. Stromal cells provide structural support for malignant cells, modulate the tumor microenvironment, and influence phenotypic behavior as well as the aggressiveness of the malignancy. In response, the tumor provides growth factors, cytokines, and cellular signals that continually initiate new stromal reactions and recruit new cells into the microenvironment to further support tumor growth. Since growing tumors recruit local cells, as well as supplemental cells from the circulation, such as fibroblasts and endothelial precursors, the question arises if it would be possible to access circulating stromal cells to modify the tumor microenvironment for therapeutic benefits. One such cell type, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), could theoretically be engrafted into stroma. MSC are pluripotent cells that have been shown to form stromal elements such as myofibroblasts, perivascular tissues and connective tissues. Several reports have demonstrated that MSC can incorporate into sites of wound healing and tissue repair, due to active tissue remodeling and local paracrine factors, and given the similarity between wound healing and the carcinoma induced stromal response one can hypothesize that MSC have the potential to be recruited to sites of tumor development. In addition, gene-modified MSC could be used as cellular vehicles to deliver gene products into tumors. My results indicate that MSC home to and participate in tumor stroma formation in ovarian tumor xenografts in mice. Additionally, once homed to tumor beds, MSC proliferate rapidly and integrate. My studies aim at understanding the fate of MSC in the tumor microenvironment, as well as utilizing them for cellular delivery of therapeutic genes into the stroma of ovarian carcinomas.
Dembinski, Jennifer L, "Examination of the engraftment of exogenous mesenchymal stem cells in ovarian tumors and their potential use as delivery vehicles for therapeutic genes" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3256546.