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Stem cell treatment may restore cognitive function in patients with brain cancer

Date:
July 13, 2011
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Stem cell therapy may restore cognition in patients with brain cancer who experience functional learning and memory loss often associated with radiation treatment, according to a laboratory study.

Stem cell therapy may restore cognition in patients with brain cancer who experience functional learning and memory loss often associated with radiation treatment, according to a laboratory study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Charles Limoli, Ph.D., a professor in the department of radiation oncology at the University of California, Irvine, said radiation therapy is the standard of care for most brain cancers, but the side effects can be devastating.

"In almost every instance, people experience severe cognitive impairment that is progressive, debilitating and adversely impacts quality of life," he said. "Pediatric cancer patients can experience a drop of up to three IQ points per year."

In the current study, Limoli and colleagues subjected rats to cranial irradiation and followed up two days later with human neural stem cell transplants. A significant proportion of these cells survived and turned into brain cells found at one- and four-month evaluations. Cognitive function significantly improved compared with control rats.

Limoli said the findings of this study were significant, and may help pave the way for a human safety trial to be conducted within a few years if appropriate funding can be secured. Neural stem cells like those used in this study do not present the same ethical questions as embryonic stem cells.


Story Source:

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


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American Association for Cancer Research. "Stem cell treatment may restore cognitive function in patients with brain cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713101939.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2011, July 13). Stem cell treatment may restore cognitive function in patients with brain cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713101939.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Stem cell treatment may restore cognitive function in patients with brain cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713101939.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

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