Stem cell

Adult stem cells

Tumor microenvironment


The intensive research has led to the understanding that although the immune system is extensively activated in different types of cancer, growth and progression of disease cannot be usually controlled because as the disease progress, the immune response against cancer gradually changes its approach from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory directions. Major emphasis is now put on the roles played by stromal cells and their mediators in tumor microenvironment. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are important stromal cells in tumor environment which are able to migrate to tumor sites after intravenous (i.v.) injection through the expressions of chemokine receptors. Besides, adipose derived stem cells have also been reported with the ability of homing to the tumor microenvironment and promoting breast tumor formation and growth. MSCs may contribute to the tumor growth and progression through several mechanisms including immunomodulatory effects, production of growth factors and angiogenic mediators. MSCs might be one of the important players mediating tumor invasion through epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) transition, an important mechanism for cancer stem cell (CSC) formation. Accordingly, one of the missions of the Stem Cell laboratory is to study the role of ASCs, as important players of tumor microenvironment, on tumor growth, metastasis and CSC formation.
Click to see the list of publications regarding tumor microenvironment by Stem cell laboratory.

Gene delivery


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are introduced as appropriate candidates for clinical applications due to their poor immunogenicity. As MSCs have tumor tropism, they provide an idea for their uses as vehicles for tumor-specific delivery of anti-tumor molecules such as immune related genes. Application of adenoviral infected MSCs with IFN-β gene which could successfully inhibit tumor growth and angiogenesis in melanoma, breast cancer and glioma models have been reported, previously. Genes of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2 and IL-12 are known for activating anti-tumor immune responses in glioma and melanoma models, respectively. Experimental evidence showed the ability of MSCs to suppress both innate and adaptive immune responses, to decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines by immune cells, and to promote tumor angiogenesis through production of angiogenic factors. Besides their application as novel immunological gene carriers, tumor promoting activities of MSCs is a critical matter which can be modulated through transferring the immune related genes to these cells.
Click to see the list of publications regarding gene delivery by Stem cell laboratory.


Adult stem cells
have the ability to differentiate into other cell types such as chondrocytes, adipocytes and osteoblasts. Accordingly, they may be the best candidates for using in regenerative medicine. Based on the differentiation capabilities of MSCs, recent studies focused on the differentiation of MSCs to chondrocytes for tissue engineering of cartilage. MSC injection to the defected knee of the rabbit or goat contributes to the regeneration and repair of the damaged tissue. Clinical trials on human using MSCs have been recently started. In addition, new windows are open for application of MSCs for hair, kidney, bone, liver and skeletal muscle regeneration in the future.   
Click to see the list of publications regarding regeneration by Stem cell laboratory. 
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Shiraz Institute for Cancer Research (ICR)
P.O. Box: 71345-3119
Tel: +98(0)71 32303687
Fax: +98(0)71 32304952