Bone marrow transplantation is a form of cell therapy that has been in practice for decades for the treatment of hematological disorders and solid tumors. Immunosuppressive therapy has been a mainstay for treatment, but the severity of the adverse effects has made it an undesirable choice. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which reside in the vascular regions of the bone marrow, have been shown to serve as cellular support for the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche. Furthermore, the immune suppressive properties of MSCs have been explored in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Thus, co-therapy with MSCs has been shown to facilitate engraftment of hematopoietic cells by suppressive graft versus host disease (GvHD). Although the mechanism by which MSCs suppress GvHD is unclear, the experimental evidence suggests that this partly occurs by modulation of immune response such as the induction of regulatory T cells. This paper discusses the role of MSCs as co-therapy for the future of stem cell transplantation, with the overarching theme of personalized medicine for cell-based health interventions.
Keywords: Bone marrow, CXCR4, graft-versus-host disease, hematopoietic niche, mesenchymal stem cells, microenvironment, personalized cell-based therapy, personalized medicine
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