Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene-modified stem cells help protect bone marrow from toxic side effects of chemotherapy

Date:
May 21, 2011
Source:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Summary:
Although chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells, it can also have a strong toxic effect on normal cells such as bone marrow and blood cells. Researchers report that one possible approach to reduce this toxic effect on bone marrow cells is to modify the cells with a gene that makes them resistant to chemotherapy.

Although chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells, it can also have a strong toxic effect on normal cells such as bone marrow and blood cells, often limiting the ability to use and manage the chemotherapy treatment. Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy in Seattle that one possible approach to reduce this toxic effect on bone marrow cells is to modify the cells with a gene that makes them resistant to chemotherapy.

Related Articles


Hans-Peter Kiem, M.D., a member of the Hutchinson Center's Clinical Research Division, and colleagues Jennifer Adair, Ph.D., a research associate in the Clinical Research Division, and Maciej Mrugala, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., a neuro-oncololgist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington, presented data from a clinical trial in which bone marrow stem cells from patients with brain tumors were removed and modified with a retrovirus vector to introduce the chemotherapy-resistant gene. The cells were then re-infused into the patients. In the trial, which was designed to evaluate safety and feasibility, patients were safely administered gene-modified blood stem cells that persisted for more than one year and did not show any apparent harmful effects.

This approach was first attempted in patients with a terminal form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Currently, median survival for glioblastoma patients is just 12 to 15 months. The prognosis for glioblastoma patients is poor not only because no curative treatment is available but because doctors cannot effectively use the treatment that does exist. Glioblastoma cells make a large amount of a protein called MGMT that makes them resistant to chemotherapy, so doctors use a second drug, called benzylguanine, to knock down MGMT and make the tumor cells susceptible to the chemotherapy. However, this potent one-two punch is not limited to the brain tumor cells. Benzylguanine also disables MGMT in normal blood and bone marrow cells, leaving them also susceptible to the effects of chemotherapy. The effects on patients' blood and bone marrow can be pronounced and often limit the ability to effectively administer the chemotherapy.

"Our initial results are encouraging because our first patient is still alive and without evidence of disease progression almost two years after diagnosis," Kiem said.

The results of the trial suggest the administration of the modified cells represent a safe method for protecting marrow and blood cells from the harmful effects of chemotherapy in brain tumor patients. Future clinical trials will be done to determine whether this combination chemotherapy will also improve the survival of patients with glioblastoma.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Gene-modified stem cells help protect bone marrow from toxic side effects of chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110520161158.htm>.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (2011, May 21). Gene-modified stem cells help protect bone marrow from toxic side effects of chemotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110520161158.htm
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Gene-modified stem cells help protect bone marrow from toxic side effects of chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110520161158.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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