, Volume 105, Issue 2, pp 157-167
Date: 13 Jan 2007

Mesenchymal stem cells as a vehicle for targeted delivery of CRAds to lung metastases of breast carcinoma

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Alternative and complementary therapeutic strategies need to be developed for metastatic breast cancer. Virotherapy is a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer in which the replicating virus itself is the anticancer agent. However, the success of virotherapy has been limited due to inefficient virus delivery to the tumor site. The present study addresses the utility of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) as intermediate carriers for conditionally replicating adenoviruses (CRAds) to target metastatic breast cancer in vivo.

Experimental design

HMSC were transduced with CRAds. We used a SCID mouse xenograft model to examine the effects of systemically injected CRAd loaded hMSC or CRAd alone on the growth of MDA-MB-231 derived pulmonary metastases (experimental metastases model) in vivo and on overall survival.


Intravenous injection of CRAd loaded hMSCs into mice with established MDA-MB-231 pulmonary metastatic disease homed to the tumor site and led to extended mouse survival compared to mice treated with CRAd alone.


Injected hMSCs transduced with CRAds suppressed the growth of pulmonary metastases, presumably through viral amplification in the hMSCs. Thus, hMSCs may be an effective platform for the targeted delivery of CRAds to distant cancer sites such as metastatic breast cancer.