Each year, about 22,500 Americans are diagnosed with malignant primary brain tumors. These tumors are highly invasive and resistant to treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Many patients with malignant glioma respond to treatment initially but then relapse. City of Hope is conducting clinical trials of innovative therapies to find more effective treatments for patients with brain tumors.
Neural Stem Cell Study
City of Hope is conducting a first-in-human investigational study of a neural stem cell-based therapy targeting recurrent high-grade gliomas, the most aggressive types of brain tumors. When utilized as a delivery vehicle to target therapeutic gene products to tumor sites, neural stem cells may meet two major challenges facing current gene therapy strategies: effective delivery and distribution of a therapeutic agent throughout tumor sites... In laboratory studies, neural stem cells, modified to express the pro-drug-activating enzyme, cytosine deaminase, were injected into brain tumor models and traveled to tumor sites. When the pro-drug, 5-FC, was given systemically, the neural stem cells converted the 5-FC to the active chemotherapy agent 5-FU at tumor sites, resulting in tumor shrinkage.
This treatment strategy is now being studied for the first time in humans. For more information about this clinical trial, which is actively enrolling patients, please call 866-235-3031.
Learn more about the neural stem cell research being conducted at City of Hope. For a summary of this study and information on how to contact City of Hope, please visit City of Hope’s clinical trials website. For additional information on this trial, including the eligibility criteria, please visit National Institutes of Health.
T cell Study
Brain tumor researchers at the City of Hope are currently conducting an immunotherapy study involving the use of a type of immune cell called a cytotoxic T lymphocyte that is engineered to destroy glioma cells. This is done by inserting a piece of DNA into the T cells that allows them to recognize and target glioma cells. At the same time, these T cells are further modified so that they don’t express glucocorticoid receptors, and thus become resistant to dexamethasone (a drug commonly used to reduce swelling in the brain but can also interfere with the functioning of T cells). These genetically-modified T cells are given to patients, along with IL-2, which is a hormone normally produced by the body and helps the T cells to survive, allowing them to locate and attack the brain tumor.
For more information about this on-going clinical trial, please call 626-471-9393.
Learn more about this T cell research. For a summary of this study and information on how to contact City of Hope, please visit City of Hope’s clinical trials website and do a keyword search for IRB# 07082. For additional information on this trial, including the eligibility criteria, please visit National Institutes of Health.