Application of mesenchymal stem cells in targeted delivery to the brain: Potential and challenges of the extracellular vesicle-based approach for brain tumor treatment

Anh Duy Do, Ida Kurniawati, Chia Ling Hsieh, Tai Tong Wong, Yu Ling Lin, Shian Ying Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Treating brain tumors presents enormous challenges, and there are still poor prognoses in both adults and children. Application of novel targets and potential drugs is hindered by the function of the blood-brain barrier, which significantly restricts therapeutic access to the tumor. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can cross biological barriers, migrate to sites of injuries to exert many healing effects, and be engineered to incorporate different types of cargo, making them an ideal vehicle to transport anti-tumor agents to the central nervous system. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) produced by MSCs (MSC-EVs) have valuable innate properties from parent cells, and are being exploited as cell-free treatments for many neurological diseases. Compared to using MSCs, targeted delivery via MSC-EVs has a better pharmacokinetic profile, yet avoids many critical issues of cell-based systems. As the field of MSC therapeutic applications is quickly expanding, this article aims to give an overall picture for one direction of EV-based targeting of brain tumors, with updates on available techniques, outcomes of experimental models, and critical challenges of this concept.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11187
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume22
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2021

Keywords

  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain tumor
  • Cell-based therapy
  • Cell-free therapy
  • Exosome
  • Extracellular vesicle
  • Gene delivery
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Targeted delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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