Stem Cells for Therapeutic Delivery of Mediators and Drugs
- Pp. 142-157 (16)Pranela Rameshwar, Jimmy Patel and Alexander Aleynik
This chapter discusses alternative methods for drug delivery. Specifically, we focused on the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and to show how these stem cells can be available as off-the-shelf cells. The advantages of MSCs are their unique immune properties and the ability of these cells to migrate to areas of inflammation such as tumors. In addition, MSCs are easy to harvest with several fold expansion, as well as little to no ethical concern. Although MSCs are similar by phenotype, the effectiveness from each source needs to be compared for homing to the desired organ/tissue, intercellular communication and the delivery of non-coding RNA through secreted exosomes. A major advantage of MSCs is the ease by which they can become available as off-the-shelf cells containing the drugs or RNA for immediate transplant to patients. There is little concern that MSCs will linger for a prolonged period because the clinical and experimental evidence indicate that allogeneic MSCs (off-the-shelf) can be readily cleared by the immune system. The chapter discusses why there is an immediate need for cellular delivery of drugs, given the cumbersome regulation and confounds of current single drug trials.