Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers track elusive brain tumor cells in mice with neural stem cells modified to deliver IL-12


Findings are cover story of Oct. 15 issue of Cancer Research

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute have successfully tested a new treatment for brain cancer by utilizing neural stem cells to track and destroy cancer cells within the brain. Scientists hope the encouraging results may eventually lead to an effective treatment for glioma, the most aggressive form of primary brain tumor in humans. The study, conducted in mice with experimental brain cancer, is featured on the cover of the Oct. 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

The prognosis has historically been extremely poor for patients diagnosed with malignant gliomas. These tumors have very poorly defined margins, and glioma cells often spread deep into healthy brain tissue making their effective surgical removal extremely difficult. Often, pockets of tumor cells break off from the main tumor and migrate deep into non-tumorous areas of the brain. Therefore, even if the original tumor is completely removed or destroyed, the risk of recurrence is high as cells in these distant "satellites" multiply and eventually re-form a new brain tumor. Due to these characteristics, treating brain cancer has been extremely difficult.

The new experimental treatment involves the use of neural stem cells for tracking and targeting brain tumor cells that spread out into normal brain. Scientists show that neural stem cells, when injected into brain tumors, can follow tumor cells as they migrate away from the main tumor mass. This capability led scientists to genetically engineer neural stem cells to produce interleukin 12, an immune stimulating chemical known to kill glioma cells. The interleukin 12 producing neural stem cells were then injected into brain tumors in mice and could kill tumor cells that had spread deep into normal brain tissue, at considerable distance from the primary tumor. Mice treated with this novel strategy survived significantly longer than control-treated mice. In fact, 30% of animals treated in this new manner developed long-term immunity to brain cancer, indicating the potency of this therapy.

Scientists demonstrated that the neural stem cells were able to kill the spreading tumor cells by delivering interleukin 12 directly to these migrating glioma "satellites". Previous research at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute has demonstrated that interleukin 12 can activate cancer killing cells from the immune system to attack and destroy brain tumor cells. The ability of neural stem cells to deliver this immune stimulating protein directly to small pockets of brain tumor cells that can not be accessed using surgery, represents a promising new method that could be used to eliminate all remaining tumor left behind after routine surgery. This could hopefully lower the incidence of tumor recurrence and improve survival in patients with malignant gliomas.

"The current focus of experimental neural stem cell therapeutics is primarily based around their use in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and stroke. We have demonstrated that combining the tumoricidal potency of interleukin 12 with the extensive tumor tracing capability of neural stem cells, results in a synergistic therapeutic benefit," according to the authors. "This further extends the scope of neural stem cell therapy to include their use as vehicles for protein delivery to in vivo glioma, and therefore represents a promising new treatment modality for malignant brain tumors."

Sandra Van | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Development and Fast Analysis of 3D Printed HF Components

19.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one

19.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Signaling Pathways to the Nucleus

19.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>