Donor-derived human bone marrow cells contribute to solid organ cancers developing after bone marrow transplantation

Itzhak Avital, Andre L. Moreira, David S. Klimstra, Margaret Leversha, Esperanza B. Papadopoulos, Murray Brennan, Robert J. Downey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Bone marrow-derived stem cells have been shown to participate in solid organ repair after tissue injury. Animal models suggest that epithelial malignancies may arise as aberrant stem cell differentiation during tissue repair. We hypothesized that if bone marrow stem cells participate in human neoplasia, then solid organ cancers developing after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) might include malignant cells of donor origin. We identified four male patients who developed solid organ cancers (lung adenocarcinoma, laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, glioblastoma, and Kaposi sarcoma) after myeloablation, total body irradiation, and ABMT from female donors. Donor-derived malignant cells comprised 2.5%-6% of the tumor cellularity The presence of donor-derived malignant cells in solid organ cancers suggests that human bone marrow-derived stem cells have a role in solid organ cancer's carcinogenesis. However, the nature of this role is yet to be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2903-2909
Number of pages7
JournalStem Cells
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Solid organ cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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