Brain Tumor Chemotherapy Delivered via Stem Cells.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to minimize collateral damage from brain tumor chemotherapy treatments.

Neuroscientist Dr. Karen Aboody, M.D. and Oncologist Dr. Jana Portnow, M.D. from City of Hope Hospital are set to begin a phase 1 clinical trial for a method of delivering chemotherapy treatments to glioblastoma [aggressive brain tumors] with modified neural stem cells.  The scientists plan to capitalize on the stem cells’ innate ability to seek out invasive tumors by loading the cells with a chemotherapeutic protein and then injecting them into the brain. Continue reading

Stem Cells Immune to Damage from Leukemia Chemotherapy

Certain stem cells have been found to be immune to the bone-degenerative side effects of chemotherapy used against leukemia.

A research team, led by Dr. Eric Darling of Brown University, has found a potential source of stem cells to protect children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia against the adverse effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX).  Adipose-derived stem cells, which appear to be impervious to the bone-degenerative side effects of MTX, may allow children to undergo the chemotherapy treatment and then regain the lost bone tissue afterwards. Continue reading

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Utilized to Treat Brain Cancer.

Mesenchymal stem cells utilized to facilitate tumor-killing viral treatment in brain cancer patients.

In a study conducted by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, a research team led by Dr. Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, utilized Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to facilitate the delivery of a tumor-killing virus into an animal model afflicted with brain cancer.  The virus was loaded onto the MSCs and encapsulated into a biocompatible gel that, when injected into the models, resulted in a higher viral efficacy and increased survival rate. Continue reading

NY Times Reports on Cancer Treatment Utilizing Patient’s Own Stem Cells

A woman’s bile-duct cancer has been successfully treated with her own stem cells.

As reported in a recent article in the New York Times, researchers from the National Cancer Institute have developed an immune system treatment for a woman afflicted with cholangiocarcinoma (bile-duct cancer) utilizing her own stem cells.  The scientists, led by Dr. Steven A Rosenberg, identified T-cells in the woman’s immune system that specifically attacked the cancerous cells in her body. They then used her stem cells to grow billions of these T-cells in a laboratory, and then infused the T-cells back into her bloodstream.  After 18 months of the treatment, known as adoptive cell therapy, the woman experienced considerable reduction of tumor size and quantity. Continue reading

Prostate Cancer Study Utilizes Stem Cells.

Researchers have used stem cells to identify a marker specific to cancer cells that could lead to new prostate cancer treatments.

Molecular Biologists from Genentech, Inc., in California have utilized stem cells to better understand the advent and growth of prostate cancer.  The researchers discovered a marker specific to cancerous cells that, when used as a therapeutic target, could lead to the development of new prostate cancer treatments. Continue reading

Stem Cells Studied to Prevent Heart Dysfunction in Children With Cancer

A patient’s own stem cells will allow doctors to evaluate the risks involved in chemotherapy.

A team from the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne has begun studying stem cell-derived heart cells from children with cancer to observe which samples are most damaged from chemotherapy drugs.  In a first of-its-kind study, researchers are taking stem cells from the patient, growing heart cells in the lab and subjecting them to a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs. The reaction of the cells to the treatments helps determine which patients are more likely to develop heart disease [later on in life] from different chemotherapy options. Continue reading