Cancer accounts for the death of thousands of people each year and brings pain and suffering to thousands more. Among cancers that specifically affect women, ovarian cancer has the highest fatality rate as 7 out of 10 women die within 5 years of surgery. As highlighted in numerous recent publications, the role of the microenvironment in the development and progression of cancer is critical, albeit not entirely understood and should therefore be a focal point for further inquiry. The goal of our study was to define the metastatic properties enhanced by the interaction between ovarian cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells. We studied the interaction between ovarian cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) using two different ovarian cancer cell lines (OVCAR3 and SKOV3) as well as different MSC cell lines derived from specific tissue. We studied using cytokine array as well as kinase array the modifications of the MSC upon their interaction with ovarian cancer cells. We demonstrated increased expression of cytokines that might be implicated in ovarian cancer metastasis (IL6 and IL8). Moreover MSC helped the ovarian cancer cells to grow in a tri-dimensional cell culture system. Finally we were able to define transcriptomic modification in the MSC and ovarian cancer cells upon their interaction.


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  1. H. Al-Thawadi, R. Lis, C. Touboul, C. Raynaud, A. Rafii, Role of mesenchymal stem cells in enhancing ovarian cancer metastasis, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, BMPS3.
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