Maintaining and Engineering Neural Stem Cells for Delivery of Genetically Encoded Therapy to Brain Tumors
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Despite advances for the treatment of cancer, the prognosis for patients suffering from malignant brain tumors remains dismal. High-grade neoplasms, such as gliomas, are highly invasive and spawn widely disseminated microsatellites that have limited the efficacy of surgical and adjunctive therapies. The cancer stem cell hypothesis suggests that conventional chemotherapeutic treatments kill differentiated and differentiating cells which often form the bulk of the tumor. One major concern is that the cells which give rise to the tumor, the cancer stem cells, remain untouched and may be responsible for a relapse of the disease. Therefore, an adjunctive therapy to current cancer treatment is critical for the survivability of patients suffering from brain tumors. We have successfully engineered tumor-tropic neural stem cells to deliver antineoplastic gene products directly to the tumor-producing cells. This potential therapeutic strategy may safely eradicate tumor-producing cells in the brain while minimizing damage to normal, healthy cells.
Key wordsNeural stem cells Gene therapy Brain tumors Viral constructs Transfection Lentiviral transduction
This work was supported by a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation grant PDF0403205 and a CBCRP grant12IB-0122 to B. Felding-Habermann in consortium with EY Snyder.
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