Neural Stem Cell Study
Using neural stem cells to deliver therapy directly to the tumor
A landmark pilot study using neural stem cells (NSCs) to treat brain tumors is now being tested in patients who are 18 years or older and have a recurrent high-grade glioma. NSCs have the natural ability to rapidly home to malignancies, migrating to and distributing themselves within a tumor as well as tracking to other tumor sites within the brain. These genetically engineered NSCs contain an enzyme (CD, see figure 1) which converts a prodrug (5-FC) into an active chemotherapy drug (5-FU) to selectively kill rapidly dividing tumor cells, but leaving non-dividing healthy cells alone. This strategy is likely to have a large “bystander effect,” meaning that one NSC can kill off many surrounding tumor cells while minimizing toxicity to healthy tissues.
Localized production of chemotherapy (5-FU) by neural stem cells at sites of tumor cells