The use of doxorubicin, an antineoplastic medication used for the treatment of cancers via mechanisms that prevent replication of cells or lead to their death, can result in damage to healthy cells as well as malignant. Among the affected cells are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are involved in the maintenance and repair of tissues in the body. This review explores the mechanisms of biological effects and damage attributed to doxorubicin on MSCs. The PubMed database was used as a source of literature for this review. Doxorubicin has the potential to lead to significant and irreversible damage to the human bone marrow environment, including MSCs. The primary known mechanism of these changes is through free radical damage and activation of apoptotic pathways. The presence of MSCs in culture or in vivo appears to either suppress or promote tumour growth. Interactions between doxorubicin and MSCs have the potential to increase chemotherapy resistance. Doxorubicin-induced damage to MSCs is of concern clinically. However, MSCs also have been associated with resistance of tumour cells to drugs including doxorubicin. Further studies, particularly in vivo, are needed to provide consistent results of how the doxorubicin-induced changes to MSCs affect treatment and patient health. © 2018 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.