An experimental drug currently being tested against breast and lung cancer shows promise in fighting the brain cancer glioblastoma and prostate cancer, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in two preclinical studies.
The drug’s actions, observed in isolated human cells in one trial and in rodents in the other, are especially encouraging because they attacked not only the bulk of the tumor cells but also the rare cancer stem cells that are believed to be responsible for most of a cancer’s growth, said Dr. Jerry Shay, professor of cell biology and a senior co-author of both papers. The
Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, studied equivalent cells taken from mouse brains. Principal investigator Silvia Marino, Professor of Neuropathology at Queen Mary, University of London, and her team showed that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell and that these cancers are a distinct form of the disease which may require a completely different approach to treatment.
Like a Hole in the Head: Living with a Brain Tumour
Research has indicated that certain sarcomas come from the mesenchymal stem cells. However, expression of neural stem cells has been noted in others. Identifying and isolating mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem cells relies on finding specific proteins expressed by both types.
In this study, eight different markers representing proteins associated with these two types of stem cells were applied to the 81 tumors. Through cluster analysis, the researchers organized the data into groups showing similar patterns. Two major subgroups of pediatric sarcomas emerged
In a breakthrough, Harvard scientists have discovered that stem cells loaded with the herpes virus can be used to specifically target and kill brain tumours.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have a potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumour cells using cancer-killing viruses.
The work, led by Khalid Shah, an HSCI Principal Faculty member, found that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumours significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumour in human adults and also the most difficult to treat (…)
Shah and his
December 4, 2009- Working with mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins publishing in the December issue of Neoplasia have shown that a protein made by a gene called “Twist” may be the proverbial red flag that can accurately distinguish stem cells that drive aggressive, metastatic breast cancer from other breast cancer cells.
Building on recent work suggesting that it is a relatively rare subgroup of stem cells in breast tumors that drives breast cancer, scientists have surmised that this subgroup of cells must have some very distinctive qualities and characteristics.