The multifaceted role of mesenchymal stem cells in cancer

Michael Timaner, Kelvin K. Tsai, Yuval Shaked

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells derived from the mesoderm that give rise to several mesenchymal lineages, including osteoblasts, adipocytes, chondrocytes and myocytes. Their potent ability to home to tumors coupled with their differentiation potential and immunosuppressive function positions MSCs as key regulators of tumor fate. Here we review the existing knowledge on the involvement of MSCs in multiple tumor-promoting processes, including angiogenesis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metastasis, immunosuppression and therapy resistance. We also discuss the clinical potential of MSC-based therapy for cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-237
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Angiogenesis
  • Immunosuppression
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Metastasis
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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