A collaborative investigation by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Johns Hopkins University created a cancer treatment that utilizes mesenchymal stem cells and microparticles. Both components of the treatment are engineered to specifically target and kill cancer cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells have been proven to act as enhancer agents of local and systemic effects of radiotherapy. This development could lead to effective use of radiotherapy in cancer treatment. José Mariano Ruiz de Almodóvar, lead author of this research explains, “MSCs have a huge potential for the treatment of cancer, given that they are capable of burying themselves in a tumor and, when preactivated or directly activated by in vivo radiation, release cytokines and tumor suppressor proteins which significantly improve the control mechanisms the ionizing radiation exerts on tumors.”