Screening for transformed human mesenchymal stromal cells with tumorigenic potential

January 29, 2014, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine

Researchers at Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands, led by Dr. Qiuwei Pan and Dr. Luc van der Laan, have discovered that spontaneous tumorigenic transformation of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) can occur during cell culture expansion, although the frequency is relatively low and often only observed after extensive passage in culture. This report appears in the January 2014 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Currently, MSCs are being widely investigated as a potential treatment for various diseases. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, over 350 clinical trials using MSCs have been registered by the end of 2013 (with a search of: ). For cell transplantation, MSCs are often isolated from either the patient or from a third party donor, and then expanded in cell culture before therapeutic application. In fact, spontaneous transformation of primary cells in cell culture has been well-investigated over decades. Malignant transformation of murine and monkey MSCs has also recently been reported.

The current study confirmed that spontaneous tumorigenic transformation of human MSCs can occur during cell culture expansion. This potentially has large implications for the clinical application of ex vivo expanded MSCs. "Although this transformation is rare, we do need to carefully examine the presence of these aberrant cells in MSC cultures, before transplanting into patients", stresses the first author Dr. Pan. "We now have identified RNA molecule signatures that can be applied as a potential biomarker for the detection of these dangerous cells in long-term cultures", said senior author Dr. van der Laan. "However, further research is required to validate this biomarker in clinical grade cultures of MSCs that are used in clinical trials".

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine said "This study provides a possible method for testing the safety of expanded . We look forward to the validation of these RNA biomarkers".

Explore further: Liver cells benefit from mesenchymal stem cell co-culture prior to transplantation

Related Stories

Liver cells benefit from mesenchymal stem cell co-culture prior to transplantation

December 18, 2013
Hepatocyte (liver cell) transplantation is becoming an accepted therapy for acute liver failure, either for liver regeneration or as a bridge to liver transplantation. However, maintaining the viability and functional aspects ...

Preferable treatment for MS found in allogenic bone marrow stem cells

December 18, 2013
Multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting more than one million people worldwide, is caused by an immune reaction to myelin proteins, the proteins that help form the myelin insulating substance ...

Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation may heal a mother's childbirth injury

September 17, 2013
Vaginal delivery presents the possibility of injury for mothers that can lead to "stress urinary incontinence" (SUI), a condition affecting from four to 35 percent of women who have had babies via vaginal delivery. Many current ...

New recombinant antibody can isolate stem cells from umbilical cord blood

September 3, 2013
A new recombinant antibody can detect and isolate mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a nonembryonic source of stem cells with promising applications in tissue engineering, blood stem cell transplantation, and treatments for immune-mediated ...

Third-party blood stem cell transplantation as a factor to impact on poor graft function

March 18, 2013
When a research team in China evaluated the efficacy and safety of using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) expanded from the bone marrow of non-self-donors to treat patients experiencing poor graft function (PGF) after receiving ...

Recommended for you

Forces from fluid in the developing lung play an essential role in organ development

January 23, 2018
It is a marvel of nature: during gestation, multiple tissue types cooperate in building the elegantly functional structures of organs, from the brain's folds to the heart's multiple chambers. A recent study by Princeton researchers ...

More surprises about blood development—and a possible lead for making lymphocytes

January 22, 2018
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have long been regarded as the granddaddy of all blood cells. After we are born, these multipotent cells give rise to all our cell lineages: lymphoid, myeloid and erythroid cells. Hematologists ...

How metal scaffolds enhance the bone healing process

January 22, 2018
A new study shows how mechanically optimized constructs known as titanium-mesh scaffolds can optimize bone regeneration. The induction of bone regeneration is of importance when treating large bone defects. As demonstrated ...

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.