New treatment for brain tumor found from stem cells
While thousands are dying of brain tumor, a recent research has probably found a solution to the condition which engineers stem cells to fight tumors.
A proof-of-concept study published in the journal Stem Cells has said that scientists have engineered the cells to produce and release toxins to kill only the tumor cells even when fed into a person’s system generally.
The team of scientists led by Dr. Khalid Shah of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge, MA and also takes part in the research activities of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have found that engineered stem cells can release toxins to eliminate the cancer cells left behind in mouse brains after tumor removal.
He also published his detailed report on how stem cells, when loaded with herpes can kill brain tumors. In the new study, he, along with his colleagues describe how the team engineered stem cells genetically and made them to secrete toxins that would create cancer cells without getting affected. Stem cells secrete cytotoxins which enter the cancer cells and kill them within days by stopping them from making proteins and as a result they can’t grow, divide and reproduce.
Cytotoxins are deadly to all types of cells generally. However, scientists found a way to get them enter only cancer cells with particular types of molecules on their surfaces so that other cells would not be affected. Under this method, the normal cells are not affected. Dr Shah said, “Cancer-killing toxins have been used with great success in a variety of blood cancers, but they don’t work as well in solid tumors because the cancers aren’t as accessible and the toxins have a short half-life.”
The team also put the stem cells inside a biodegradable gel and deposited it in the tumor site after the removal of tumors. When kept under observation, they found that the stem cells delivered the toxins to kill cancer cells that were left over.