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Stem Cell-Conventional Treatment Combo Offers New Hope in Fighting Deadly Brain Cancer
Date:8/7/2013

Durham, NC (PRWEB) August 07, 2013

A new type of treatment that pairs neural stem cells with conventional cancer fighting therapies is showing promise in animal studies for the most common and deadliest form of adult brain cancer — glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The details are revealed in a groundbreaking study led by Maciej Lesniak, M.D., that appears today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

“In this work, we describe a highly innovative gene therapy approach, which is being developed along with the NIH and the FDA. Specifically, our group has developed an allogeneic neural stem cell line that is a carrier for a virus that can selectively infect and break down cancer cells,” explained Dr. Lesniak, the University of Chicago’s director of neurosurgical oncology and neuro-oncology research at the Brain Tumor Center.

The stem cell line, called HB1.F3 NSC, was recently approved by the FDA for use in a phase I human clinical trial.

GBM remains fatal despite intensive treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. And while cancer-killing viruses have been used in clinical trials to treat therapeutically resistant and infiltrative tumor burdens throughout the brain, “there were major drawbacks,” Dr. Lesniak explained.

“When you inject a virus into a tumor alone (without a carrier, like NSC), the virus stays at the site of the injection, and does not spread. Moreover, our immune system clears it. By using NSCs, we can achieve a widespread distribution of the virus throughout the tumor mass, since the NSC travel. Also, they act like a stealth fighter, hiding the virus from the immune system.” By using NSC loaded with a novel oncolytic adenovirus that selectively targets GBM, along with standard of care that includes chemo-radiotherapy, the team was able to overcome these limitations.

Using mice that had GBM, the research team showed how their neural stem cell line, which is derived fro
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