X. Song MD, PhD, K. Vanderkerken PhD, I. Van Riet PhD
Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent non-hematopoietic progenitor cells that are capable of differentiating into various mesenchymal tissues and give rise to most bone marrow stromal cells. Several studies have demonstrated that bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells from multiple myeloma patients are functionally and genetically abnormal compared to their normal counterparts. However, the direct involvement of mesenchymal stem cells in the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma remains unclear. In our research project we aimed to investigate how mesenchymal stem cells influence multiple myeloma cell growth and whether and at which level the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells towards osteoblasts is impaired in this disease. Our data provided evidence that mesenchymal stem cells can stimulate tumour growth and disease evolution in multiple myeloma and are involved in the bone disease associated with this malignancy.