Advances in stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and engineered cells: Delivery vehicles for anti-glioma therapy

Jacob S. Young, Ramin A. Morshed, Julius W. Kim, Irina V. Balyasnikova, Atique U. Ahmed, MacIej S. Lesniak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: A limitation of small molecule inhibitors, nanoparticles (NPs) and therapeutic adenoviruses is their incomplete distribution within the entirety of solid tumors such as malignant gliomas. Currently, cell-based carriers are making their way into the clinical setting as they offer the potential to selectively deliver many types of therapies to cancer cells.Areas covered: Here, we review the properties of stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and engineered cells that possess the tumor-tropic behavior necessary to serve as cell carriers. We also report on the different types of therapeutic agents that have been delivered to tumors by these cell carriers, including: i) therapeutic genes; ii) oncolytic viruses; iii) NPs; and iv) antibodies. The current challenges and future promises of cell-based drug delivery are also discussed.Expert opinion: While the emergence of stem cell-mediated therapy has resulted in promising preclinical results and a human clinical trial utilizing this approach is currently underway, there is still a need to optimize these delivery platforms. By improving the loading of therapeutic agents into stem cells and enhancing their migratory ability and persistence, significant improvements in targeted cancer therapy may be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1733-1746
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Cell carriers
  • Cell-delivered cancer therapy
  • Engineered cells
  • Gene therapy
  • Glioma
  • Immunotherapy
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Nanoparticles
  • Oncolytic virotherapy
  • Stem cells
  • Targeted drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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