Friday, August 1, 2014

Caveats of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in Solid Organ Transplantation

In the past decade, therapeutic use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has increased dramatically. The weight of existing evidence supports that the short-term application of MSCs is safe and feasible; however, concerns remain over the possibility of unwanted long-term effects. One fundamental difference between MSCs and pharmacotherapy is that, once applied, the effects of cell products cannot be easily reversed. Therefore, a carefully considered decision process is indispensable before cell infusion. In addition to unwanted interactions of MSCs with the host immune system, there are concerns that MSCs may promote tumor progression or even give rise to cancer themselves.
As animal models and first-in-man clinical studies have provided conflicting results, it is challenging to estimate the long-term risk for individual patients. In addition, most animal models, especially rodents, are ill-suited to adequately address questions over long-term side effects. Based on the available evidence, we address the potential pitfalls for the use of MSCs as a therapeutic agent to control alloimmune effects. The aim of this review is not to discourage investigators from clinical studies, but to raise awareness of the intrinsic risks of MSC therapy (read more) Print this post

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