An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Karen Aboody, M.D.

Professor, Department of Developmental & Stem Cell Biology and Division of Neurosurgery
Research Focus
  • Translational Research: Neural Stem Cell Targeted Cancer Therapies
  • Neural Stem Cell Brain Tumor Clinical Trials
  • Neural Stem Cells Target Human Primary and Metastatic Tumors in Animal Models: Therapeutic Strategies
  • Neural Stem Cells and Cancer Treatment

Clinical Teams

I live to cure cancer.

Losing a sister to breast cancer over a decade ago inspired Karen S. Aboody, M.D., to make the battle against cancer her life's work.

Dr. Aboody is at the forefront of research into using neural stem cells to assist in the delivery of chemotherapy to brain tumors, a critical step in attacking invasive tumors that cannot be successfully treated through surgery or other means.

A member of the City of Hope staff since 2003, Dr. Aboody received her medical degree at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine and received further training at Harvard Medical School.


City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1500 East Duarte Road

Duarte, CA 91010

  • Mooney R, Roma L, Zhao D, Van Haute D, Garcia E, Kim SU, Annala A, Aboody KS* and Berlin J* (*PIs contributed equally): Neural stem cell-mediated delivery of gold nanorods improves intratumoral photothermal therapy.  ACS Nano 2014 Nov 6.
  • Metz MZ*, Gutova M*, Lacey SF, Abramyants Y, Vo T, Gilchrist M, Tirughana R, Ghoda LY, Barish ME, Brown CE, Najbauer J, Potter PM, Portnow, J, Synold TW, and Aboody KS:  Neural stem cell mediated delivery of irinotecan-activating carboxylesterases to glioma: Implications for clinical use. Stem Cells Transl Med 2013 Dec;2(12):983-92.
  • Tobias AL, Bart T, Auffinger B, Rincon E, Balyasnikova IV, Kim CK, Han Y, Zhang L, Aboody KS, Ahmed AU, Lesniak MS:  The timing of neural stem cell based virotherapy is critical for optimal therapeutic efficacy when applied with radiation and chemotherapy for the treatment of glioblastoma. Stem Cells Trans Med 2013 Sep;2(9):655-66.
  • Aboody KS, Najbauer J, Metz MZ, D’Apuzzo M, Gutova M, Annala AJ, Synold TW, Couture LA, Blanchard S, Moats RA, Garcia E, Aramburo S, Valenzuela V, Frank RT, Barish ME, Kim SU, Badie B, Portnow J:  Neural stem cell-mediated enzyme-prodrug therapy for glioma: preclinical studies.  Sci Trans Med 2013 May 8;5(184):184ra59.
  • Aboody, KS. Researchers and the translational reality (Interview). Regen Med. 2012 Nov;7(6 Suppl):64-6.
  • Zhao D, Najbauer J, Annala AJ, Garcia E, Metz MZ, Gutova M, Polewski MD, Gilchrist M, Glackin C, Kim SU, and Aboody KS:  Human neural stem cell tropism to metastatic breast cancer. Stem Cells 2012 Feb;30(2):314-25.
  • Aboody K, Capela A, Niazi N, Stern JH, Temple S: Translating stem cell studies to the clinic for CNS repair: Current state of the art and the need for a Rosetta Stone. Neuron 2011 May 26;70(4):597 613.
  • Frank RT, Edmiston M, Kendall SE, Najbauer J, Cheung CW, Kassa T, Metz MZ, Kim SU, Glackin CA, Wu AM, Yazaki PJ and Aboody KS:  Neural stem cells as a novel platform for tumor-specific delivery of therapeutic antibodies. PLoS One 2009 Dec 15;4(12):e8314.
  • Aboody KS, Najbauer J, Danks MK:  Stem and progenitor cell-mediated tumor selective gene therapy (Review). Gene Therapy 2008 15: 739-752.
  • Danks MK, Yoon KJ, Bush RA, Remack JS, Wierdl M, Tsurkan L, Kim SU, Garcia E, Metz M, Najbauer J, Potter PM, Aboody KS: Tumor-targeted enzyme/prodrug therapy mediates long-term disease-free survival of mice bearing disseminated neuroblastoma. Cancer Res 2007 Jan 1;67(1):22-5.
  • Aboody KS, Bush RA, Garcia E, Metz MZ, Najbauer J, Justus KA, Phelps DA, Remack JS, Yoon, KJ, Gillespie S, Kim SU, Glackin CA, Potter PM, Danks MK: Development of a Tumor-selective Approach to Treat Metastatic Cancer. PLoS One 2006 Dec 20;1:e23.  Commentaries in Nature Clinical Practice 4:270-271, 2007, and on line in: PLoS Medicine (E:12,e482), Jan8, 2007, Jan 8 2007, and Jan4, 2007.
  • Aboody KS, Brown A, Rainov NG, Bower KA, Liu S, Yang W, Small JE, Herrlinger U, Ourednik V, Black PM, Breakefield XO and Snyder EY:  From the Cover: Neural stem cells display extensive tropism for pathology in adult brain:  Evidence from intracranial gliomas. PNAS (+ commentary) 2000 Nov 7;97(23):12846-51.



Information listed here is obtained from Pubmed, a public database; City of Hope is not responsible for its accuracy.

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