The Promise of Stem Cell Research
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Dr. Karen Aboody?s lab at City of Hope is studying the potential for the use of neural stem cells (NSCs) as vehicles to carry therapeutic agents to glioblastoma (human brain cancer) and its metastases in a patient. We know that NSCs will migrate to sites of tumor in the body, will follow metastasizing cancer cells as they infiltrate the normal brain tissue, and are able to carry and retain the expression of a transgene, so we are testing the possibility of placing a pro-drug in NSCs and injecting these cells into patients with glioblastoma in order to kill or reduce the negative effects of the glioblastoma. If it were effective, this type of therapy would be much less invasive than more common types, such as radiation, and would not negatively affect the patient?s well-being or physical health. We are currently performing in vitro and in vivo studies and hope to move to clinical trials in the near future.