A type of cell called induced pluripotent stem (iPS)-myeloid lineage (iPS-ML) can produce interferon-β (IFN-β), which can fight primary and metastatic liver cancer, according to results from research on a mouse xenograft model of liver cancer.

First, researchers generated a murine xenograft model of liver metastasis by injecting the spleen of mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) with MKN-45 human gastric cancer cells. They also generated a primary liver cancer model by injecting SK-HEP-1 human hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of liver cancer) cells directly into the liver.

Once cancer lesions were established, researchers administered iPS-ML/IFN-β by intraperitoneal injection and then evaluated the potential therapeutic effect.

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Injection of iPS-ML/IFN-β resulted in significant decreases in tumor progression and significantly increased mouse survival. Researchers observed infiltration of iPS-ML into tumors beneath the liver capsule, which indicates tumor-directed migration and penetration by iPS-ML.

Concentrations of IFN-β were high enough to exert anticancer effects for a minimum of 3 days after injection. This extended anticancer effect accounts for the strong therapeutic benefit from injections 2 to 3 times per week.

These results suggest a therapeutic potential for iPS-ML/IFN-β in patients with liver cancer, although additional research is needed.


1. Sakisaka M, Haruta M, Komohara, et al. Therapy of primary and metastatic liver cancer by human iPS cell-derived myeloid cells producing interferon-β. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci. 2017;24(2):109-119. doi:10.1002/jhbp.422