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Stem Cell Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Future Perspectives

  • Hoda Elkhenany
  • Ahmed Shekshek
  • Mohamed Abdel-Daim
  • Nagwa El-BadriEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common types of cancer and results in a high mortality rate worldwide. Unfortunately, most cases of HCC are diagnosed in an advanced stage, resulting in a poor prognosis and ineffective treatment. HCC is often resistant to both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, resulting in a high recurrence rate. Although the use of stem cells is evolving into a potentially effective approach for the treatment of cancer, few studies on stem cell therapy in HCC have been published. The administration of stem cells from bone marrow, adipose tissue, the amnion, and the umbilical cord to experimental animal models of HCC has not yielded consistent responses. However, it is possible to induce the apoptosis of cancer cells, repress angiogenesis, and cause tumor regression by administration of genetically modified stem cells. New alternative approaches to cancer therapy, such as the use of stem cell derivatives, exosomes or stem cell extracts, have been proposed. In this review, we highlight these experimental approaches for the use of stem cells as a vehicle for local drug delivery.


Conditioned media Engineered MSCs Exosomes HCC Stem cells 



ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2


Apparent diffusion coefficient


Adipose-derived stem cells




Amniotic membrane


Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Cancer-associated fibroblasts


Cancer-associated MSCs


Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B transcript


Homeobox transcription factor 2


Conditioned medium


Cancer stem cells


GTP-binding RAS-like 3


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition


GATA-binding protein 6


Amniotic membrane-derived epithelial stem cells


hAECs protein extract


Human amniotic membrane-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Hepatocellular carcinoma


Hepatic progenitor cells


Heat shock protein


Multidrug resistance


Major histocompatibility complex


Matrix metalloproteinase


Magnetic resonance imaging


Mesenchymal stem cells


Nemo-like kinase


Pancreatic adenocarcinoma-derived cell lines


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen


Pigment epithelium-derived factor


Phosphatide inositol 3 kinase


Retinoblastoma-like 1


Superparamagnetic iron oxide


TGF β-activated kinase-1


Tumor-associated macrophages


Telomerase reverse transcriptase


Transforming growth factor Beta


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand


Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells



This work is supported by grant #5300, funded by the Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF) and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hoda Elkhenany
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmed Shekshek
    • 3
  • Mohamed Abdel-Daim
    • 4
    • 5
  • Nagwa El-Badri
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center of Excellence for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (CESC)Zewail City of Science and TechnologyGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineBeni Suef UniversityBeni Suef GovernorateEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Zoology, Science CollegeKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineSuez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt

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