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Researchers Find Stem-cell Therapy Effective in Targeting Metastatic Cancer

genitor cells into immunosuppressed mice that had been given neuroblastoma cells, which then formed tumors. After waiting a few days to allow the stem cells to migrate to the tumors, researchers administered a precursor-drug. When it reached the stem cells, the drug interacted with an enzyme the stem cells expressed, and was converted into an active drug that kills surrounding tumor cells. The precursor-drugs were administered for two weeks, then after a two-week break, a second round of stem/progenitor cells and drugs were administered.

One hundred percent of the neuroblastoma mice appeared healthy and tumor-free at six months. Without treatment, all the neuroblastoma mice died within two-and-a-half months.

The results hold promise for treating solid tumors that metastasize including neuroblastoma, which represents 6 percent to 10 percent of all childhood cancers worldwide, with higher proportions in children under 2 years of age.

"The results are especially important in the case of high-risk neuroblastoma, because treatment-resistant cancer returns in as many as 80 percent of children, and the majority die of their disease," said co-principal investigator Danks.

Aboody and her colleagues had previously published the efficacy of this technique in primary and metastatic tumors in the brain. This is the first research to demonstrate that it is also effective in a metastatic cancer model, targeting multiple solid tumor sites spread throughout the body. They speculate that the technique could also be applied to other malignant solid tumors, including colon, brain, prostate and breast cancer, and are planning future preclinical trials using those tumors as well.

Source-Eurekalert
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