Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Stem Cells Against Cancer?

Date:
January 16, 2007
Source:
Swedish Research Council
Summary:
Gliomas are a group of brain tumors where the most common type is also the most aggressive one. Chemotherapy and radiation have little effect on malignant gliomas, and patients survive only about a year after being diagnosed. But research at Lund University in Sweden provides hope that it may be possible in the future to develop stem cells from the brain into a new way to treat gliomas.

Gliomas are a group of brain tumors where the most common type is also the most aggressive one. Chemotherapy and radiation have little effect on malignant gliomas, and patients survive only about a year after being diagnosed. But research at Lund University in Sweden provides hope that it may be possible in the future to develop stem cells from the brain into a new way to treat gliomas.

Neural stem cells have been shown to have the ability to recognize signals from tumor cells in the brain and migrate there. If stem cells are injected into a part of the brain in laboratory animals with a glioma in another part of their brain, the stem cells migrate over to the tumor area.

This has spawned the idea of having stem cells transport drugs or immune stimulants to the tumor. This was the principle the Lund scientists wanted to test. But as it turned out, no extra assistance was needed: the stem cells themselves had the ability to combat the tumor.

"We were truly amazed when we saw this effect! To be sure about the phenomenon, we ran several experiments with other stem cells, and it was confirmed that certain neural stem cells actually have an anti-tumor effect," says Karin Staflin. She is describing the findings in her dissertation, which she will soon defend.

It is as yet unknown just why this happens. One plausible reason is that both normal neural stem cells and glioma cells are immature, not fully mature cells. They are therefore more like each other than any other types of cells in the brain, which may enable them to 'speak' to each other and influence each other. The research team at Lund has also shown that stem cells can cure colon cancer in lab animals.

"Cells in aggressive malignant cancer forms are often characterized as being more immature than their environment. This may be what enables neural stem cells to affect intestinal cancer cells," says Karin Staflin.

Many years of research remain before the newly discovered principle is ready to be tested on humans. First, researchers need to learn to understand the mechanisms better and identify the factors in neural cells which make them so effective. The notion is still new, but it does provide a glimmer of hope for a cure for a thus far incurable disease.

The dissertation is titled Neural progenitor cells in malignancy and injury of the brain: A Trojan horse for gliomas?


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swedish Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Swedish Research Council. "Brain Stem Cells Against Cancer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116132701.htm>.
Swedish Research Council. (2007, January 16). Brain Stem Cells Against Cancer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116132701.htm
Swedish Research Council. "Brain Stem Cells Against Cancer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116132701.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins