Stem cell therapies for the treatment of radiation-induced normal tissue side effects

Marc Benderitter, Fabio Caviggioli, Alain Chapel, Robert P. Coppes, Chandan Guha, Marco Klinger, Olivier Malard, Fiona Stewart, Radia Tamarat, Peter Van Luijk, Charles L. Limoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Significance: Targeted irradiation is an effective cancer therapy but damage inflicted to normal tissues surrounding the tumor may cause severe complications. While certain pharmacologic strategies can temper the adverse effects of irradiation, stem cell therapies provide unique opportunities for restoring functionality to the irradiated tissue bed. Recent Advances: Preclinical studies presented in this review provide encouraging proof of concept regarding the therapeutic potential of stem cells for treating the adverse side effects associated with radiotherapy in different organs. Early-stage clinical data for radiation-induced lung, bone, and skin complications are promising and highlight the importance of selecting the appropriate stem cell type to stimulate tissue regeneration. Critical Issues: While therapeutic efficacy has been demonstrated in a variety of animal models and human trials, a range of additional concerns regarding stem cell transplantation for ameliorating radiation-induced normal tissue sequelae remain. Safety issues regarding teratoma formation, disease progression, and genomic stability along with technical issues impacting disease targeting, immunorejection, and clinical scale-up are factors bearing on the eventual translation of stem cell therapies into routine clinical practice. Future Directions: Follow-up studies will need to identify the best possible stem cell types for the treatment of early and late radiation-induced normal tissue injury. Additional work should seek to optimize cellular dosing regimes, identify the best routes of administration, elucidate optimal transplantation windows for introducing cells into more receptive host tissues, and improve immune tolerance for longer-term engrafted cell survival into the irradiated microenvironment. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21: 338-355.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-355
Number of pages18
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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