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Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells and the tumor tissue microenvironment

A Talk by Yufang Shi
Soochow University Institutes for Translational Medicine, China

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About this talk

Soochow University Institutes for Translational Medicine and The First Affiliated Hospital Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Mesenchymal stem cells, also known as mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), exist in many tissues and are known to actively migrate to sites of tissue injury, where they participate in wound repair. Tumors can be considered as “wounds that never heal” and in response to cues from tumors, MSCs are continuously recruited to and become integral components of the tumour microenvironment. Recently, it has become apparent that such tumor-associated MSCs (TA-MSCs) play an active role in tumor initiation, promotion, progression, and metastasis. In the recent years, there are significant advances in our understanding of the pathogenic role of TA-MSCs in regulating the survival, proliferation, migration, and drug resistance of tumor cells and the influence of MSCs on the immune status of the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, there are emerging new therapeutic approaches that target TA-MSC upstream or downstream modulators or use MSCs as vehicles for the delivery of tumoricidal agents. It is anticipated that new insights into the functions of TA-MSCs will lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies against tumors.

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