Researchers Reach Critical Milestone For Treating Brain Cancer

Posted: Feb 2 2017, 6:08am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Researchers Reach Critical Milestone for Treating Brain Cancer
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New discovery can reduce brain cancer in humans as a new revolutionary approach for treating glioblastoma works with human cells.

In a new research, mouse skin was converted to stem cells through a new technology. Stem cells can kill brain cancer in humans, and can increase the survival time from 160 to 220 percent depending on the type of the cancer.

The team says that this technique can also be used in humans to cure cancer. The team was from UNC-Chapel Hill team, and led by Shawn Hingtgen, an assistant professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Care Center

But,Hingtgen said that the speed is an important factor in this experiment,because in the past, it took several weeks to convert human skin cells to stem cells, but tumor patients have less time to wait. But, now scientists have discovered a fast technique to create stem cells to be used in tumor patients.

So far, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the standard treatments being used for Glioblastoma. And tumor also reappears after few months in almost every patient.

Surgeons can’t see the complicated tumor and drugs can’t cure it, so it is difficult to remove tumor completely, so new treatment is required, said Ryan Miller, a coauthor of the study and neuropathologist at UNC Hospitals and associate professor at the UNC School of Medicine.

New technology named Skin Flipping is developed to treat the disease. The technology changes skin cells to stem cells, and the technology also got Nobel Prize in 2012.

In the first stage, skin cells are formed that produce collagen and then they are reprogrammed to become stem cells, but they just find the tumor and don’t kill it. So, the team had to create stem cells that could kill cancer cells.

Hingtgen's stem cells contain protein that accelerates prodrug that’s given to cancer patients. The drug is generated around the stem cells instead of patient’s entire body to reduce the side effects.

Clinical trials are required for this new treatment method, but that will take 1 or 2 years. But, scientists have found it for the first time that their new discovery can treat brain tumor, that’s a really great achievement, said Hingtgen.

This research got published in the Feb. 1 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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