Human-derived normal mesenchymal stem/stromal cells in anticancer therapies.
ABSTRACT: The tumor microenvironment (TME) not only plays a pivotal role during cancer progression and metastasis, but also has profound effects on therapeutic efficacy. Stromal cells of the TME are increasingly becoming a key consideration in the development of active anticancer therapeutics. However, dispute concerning the role of stromal cells to fight cancer continues because the use of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) as an anticancer agent is dependent on the specific MSCs subtype, in vitro or in vivo conditions, factors secreted by MSCs, types of cancer cell lines and interactions between MSCs, cancer cells and host immune cells. In this review, we mainly focus on the role of human-derived normal MSCs in anticancer therapies. We first discuss the use of different MSCs in the therapies for various cancers. We then focus on their anticancer mechanism and clinical application.
Project description:Tumor heterogeneity is considered the major cause of treatment failure in current cancer therapies. This feature of solid tumors is not only the result of clonal outgrowth of cells with genetic mutations, but also of epigenetic alterations induced by physical and chemical signals from the tumor microenvironment (TME). Besides fibroblasts, endothelial and immune cells, mesenchymal stroma/stem-like cells (MSCs) and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) intimately crosstalk with cancer cells and can exhibit both anti- and pro-tumorigenic effects. MSCs can alter cancer cellular phenotypes to increase cancer cell plasticity, eventually resulting in the generation of cancer stem cells (CSCs). The shift between different phenotypic states (phenotype switching) of CSCs is controlled via both genetic programs, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation or retrodifferentiation, and epigenetic alterations triggered by signals from the TME, like hypoxia, spatial heterogeneity or stromal cell-derived chemokines. Finally, we highlight the role of spontaneous cancer cell fusion with various types of stromal cells. i.e., MSCs in shaping CSC plasticity. A better understanding of cell plasticity and phenotype shifting in CSCs is a prerequisite for exploiting this phenomenon to reduce tumor heterogeneity, thereby improving the chance for therapy success.
Project description:The tumour microenvironment (TME) is an important factor in determining the growth and metastasis of colorectal cancer, and can aid tumours by both establishing an immunosuppressive milieu, allowing the tumour avoid immune clearance, and by hampering the efficacy of various therapeutic regimens. The tumour microenvironment is composed of many cell types including tumour, stromal, endothelial and immune cell populations. It is widely accepted that cells present in the TME acquire distinct functional phenotypes that promote tumorigenesis. One such cell type is the mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC). Evidence suggests that MSCs exert effects in the colorectal tumour microenvironment including the promotion of angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. MSCs immunomodulatory capacity may represent another largely unexplored central feature of MSCs tumour promoting capacity. There is considerable evidence to suggest that MSCs and their secreted factors can influence the innate and adaptive immune responses. MSC-immune cell interactions can skew the proliferation and functional activity of T-cells, dendritic cells, natural killer cells and macrophages, which could favour tumour growth and enable tumours to evade immune cell clearance. A better understanding of the interactions between the malignant cancer cell and stromal components of the TME is key to the development of more specific and efficacious therapies for colorectal cancer. Here, we review and explore MSC- mediated mechanisms of suppressing anti-tumour immune responses in the colon tumour microenvironment. Elucidation of the precise mechanism of immunomodulation exerted by tumour-educated MSCs is critical to inhibiting immunosuppression and immune evasion established by the TME, thus providing an opportunity for targeted and efficacious immunotherapy for colorectal cancer growth and metastasis.
Project description:Cancer progression is in part determined by interactions between cancer cells and stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). The identification of cytotoxic tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes has instigated research into immune stimulating cancer therapies. Although a promising direction, immunosuppressive mechanisms exerted at the TME hamper its success. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have come to the forefront as stromal cells that orchestrate the immunosuppressive TME. Consequently, this heterogeneous cell population has been the object of investigation. Studies revealed that the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) largely dictates the recruitment, activation and function of MDSCs in the TME. Therefore, this review will focus on the role of this key transcription factor during the MDSC's life cycle and on the therapeutic opportunities it offers.
Project description:The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a critical role in tumorigenesis and is composed of different cellular components, including immune cells and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). In this review, we will discuss MSCs in the TME setting and more specifically their interactions with immune cells and how they can both inhibit (immunosurveillance) and favor (immunoediting) tumor growth. We will also discuss how MSCs are used as a therapeutic strategy in cancer. Due to their unique immunomodulatory properties, MSCs isolated from perinatal tissues are intensely explored as therapeutic interventions in various inflammatory-based disorders with promising results. However, their therapeutic applications in cancer remain for the most part controversial and, importantly, the interactions between administered perinatal MSC and immune cells in the TME remain to be clearly defined.
Project description:Cancer-associated fibrosis is a critical component of the tumor microenvironment (TME) which significantly impacts cancer behavior. However, there is significant controversy regarding fibrosis as a predominantly tumor promoting or tumor suppressing factor. Cells essential to the generation of tissue fibrosis such as fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have dual phenotypes dependent upon their independence or association with cancer cells. Cancer-associated fibroblasts and cancer-associated MSCs have unique molecular profiles which facilitate cancer cell cross talk, influence extracellular matrix deposition, and direct the immune system to generate a protumorigenic environment. In contrast, normal tissue fibroblasts and MSCs are important in restraining cancer initiation, influencing epithelial cell differentiation, and limiting cancer cell invasion. We propose this apparent dichotomy of function is due to (1) cancer mediated stromal reprogramming; (2) tissue stromal source; (3) unique subtypes of fibrosis; and (4) the impact of fibrosis on other TME elements. First, as cancer progresses, tumor cells influence their surrounding stroma to move from a cancer restraining phenotype into a cancer supportive role. Second, cancer has specific organ tropism, thus stroma derived from preferred metastatic organs support growth while less preferred metastatic tissues do not. Third, there are subtypes of fibrosis which have unique function to support or inhibit cancer growth. Fourth, depleting fibrosis influences other TME components which drive the cancer response. Collectively, this review highlights the complexity of cancer-associated fibrosis and supports a dual function of fibrosis which evolves during the continuum of cancer growth.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a major component of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and play a key role in promoting tumor progression. The tumor uses exosomes to co-opt MSCs and re-program their functional profile from normally trophic to pro-tumorigenic. These tumor-derived small vesicles called "TEX" carry and deliver a cargo rich in proteins and nucleic acids to MSCs. Upon interactions with surface receptors on MSCs and uptake of the exosome cargo by MSCs, molecular, transcriptional and translational changes occur that convert MSCs into producers of factors that are necessary for tumor growth and that also alter functions of non-tumor cells in the TME. The MSCs re-programmed by TEX become avid producers of their own exosomes that carry and deliver mRNA and miRNA species as well as molecular signals not only back to tumor cells, directly enhancing their growth, but also horizontally to fibroblasts, endothelial cells and immune cells in the TME, indirectly enhancing their pro-tumor functions. TEX-driven cross-talk of MSCs with immune cells blocks their anti-tumor activity and/or converts them into suppressor cells. MSCs re-programmed by TEX mediate pro-angiogenic activity and convert stromal cells into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Although MSCs have a potential to exert anti-tumor activities, they largely provide service to the tumor using the multidirectional communication system established by exosomes in the TME. Future therapeutic options consider disruption of this complex vicious cycle by either molecular or gene-regulated silencing of pro-tumor effects mediated by MSCs in the TME.
Project description:Carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells (CA-MSCs) are critical stromal progenitor cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME). We previously demonstrated that CA-MSCs differentially express bone morphogenetic protein family members, promote tumor cell growth, increase cancer "stemness," and chemotherapy resistance. Here, we use RNA sequencing of normal omental MSCs and ovarian CA-MSCs to demonstrate global changes in CA-MSC gene expression. Using these expression profiles, we create a unique predictive algorithm to classify CA-MSCs. Our classifier accurately distinguishes normal omental, ovary, and bone marrow MSCs from ovarian cancer CA-MSCs. Suggesting broad applicability, the model correctly classifies pancreatic and endometrial cancer CA-MSCs and distinguishes cancer associated fibroblasts from CA-MSCs. Using this classifier, we definitively demonstrate ovarian CA-MSCs arise from tumor mediated reprograming of local tissue MSCs. Although cancer cells alone cannot induce a CA-MSC phenotype, the in vivo ovarian TME can reprogram omental or ovary MSCs to protumorigenic CA-MSCs (classifier score of >0.96). In vitro studies suggest that both tumor secreted factors and hypoxia are critical to induce the CA-MSC phenotype. Interestingly, although the breast cancer TME can reprogram bone marrow MSCs into CA-MSCs, the ovarian TME cannot, demonstrating for the first time that tumor mediated CA-MSC conversion is tissue and cancer type dependent. Together these findings (a) provide a critical tool to define CA-MSCs and (b) highlight cancer cell influence on distinct normal tissues providing powerful insights into the mechanisms underlying cancer specific metastatic niche formation. Stem Cells 2019;37:257-269.
Project description:Cancer development is highly associated to the physiological state of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Despite the existing heterogeneity of tumors from the same or from different anatomical locations, common features can be found in the TME maturation of epithelial-derived tumors. Genetic alterations in tumor cells result in hyperplasia, uncontrolled growth, resistance to apoptosis, and metabolic shift towards anaerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect). These events create hypoxia, oxidative stress and acidosis within the TME triggering an adjustment of the extracellular matrix (ECM), a response from neighbor stromal cells (e.g., fibroblasts) and immune cells (lymphocytes and macrophages), inducing angiogenesis and, ultimately, resulting in metastasis. Exosomes secreted by TME cells are central players in all these events. The TME profile is preponderant on prognosis and impacts efficacy of anti-cancer therapies. Hence, a big effort has been made to develop new therapeutic strategies towards a more efficient targeting of TME. These efforts focus on: (i) therapeutic strategies targeting TME components, extending from conventional therapeutics, to combined therapies and nanomedicines; and (ii) the development of models that accurately resemble the TME for bench investigations, including tumor-tissue explants, "tumor on a chip" or multicellular tumor-spheroids.
Project description:The tumour microenvironment (TME) is the complex environment in which various non-cancerous stromal cell populations co-exist, co-evolve and interact with tumour cells, having a profound impact on the progression of solid tumours. The TME is comprised of various extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in addition to a variety of immune and stromal cells. These include tumour-associated macrophages, regulatory T cells (Tregs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells, as well as endothelial cells, pericytes and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). CAFs are the most abundant stromal cell population in many tumours and support cancer progression, metastasis and resistance to therapies through bidirectional signalling with both tumour cells and other cells within the TME. More recently, CAFs have been shown to also affect the anti-tumour immune response through direct and indirect interactions with immune cells. In this review, we specifically focus on the interactions between CAFs and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, and on how these interactions affect T cell recruitment, infiltration and function in the tumour. We additionally provide insight into the therapeutic implications of targeting these interactions, particularly in the context of cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:The tumor bulk is composed of a highly heterogeneous population of cancer cells, as well as a large variety of resident and infiltrating host cells, extracellular matrix proteins, and secreted proteins, collectively known as the tumor microenvironment (TME). The TME is essential for driving tumor development by promoting cancer cell survival, migration, metastasis, chemoresistance, and the ability to evade the immune system responses. Therapeutically targeting tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), regulatory T-cells (T-regs), and mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) is likely to have an impact in cancer treatment. In this review, we focus on describing the normal physiological functions of each of these cell types and their behavior in the cancer setting. Relying on the specific surface markers and secreted molecules in this context, we review the potential targeting of these cells inducing their depletion, reprogramming, or differentiation, or inhibiting their pro-tumor functions or recruitment. Different approaches were developed for this targeting, namely, immunotherapies, vaccines, small interfering RNA, or small molecules.