Since they would be unable to bear the doses of treatment they would need to eliminate the tumors, patients with advanced cancer that has spread to many different sites often do not have many treatment options.
A technique to treat cancers that have spread throughout the body more effectively may have been discovered be researchers at City of Hope and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. So that normal tissue neighboring the tumor and throughout the body remain relatively unharmed, they used modified neural stem cells to activate and concentrate chemotherapeutic drugs predominately at tumor sites.
“This approach could significantly improve future treatment options for patients with metastatic cancer,” said Dr. Karen, M.D., assistant professor of Hematology/Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Neurosciences at City of Hope. “It not only has the potential to destroy residual tumor cells, but it should also improve patients’ quality of life by minimizing toxic side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or bone marrow suppression.”
The study will be published Dec. 20th in PLoS ONE. A second paper with comprehensive results from the study has been accepted for publication in the January issue of Cancer Research.
Toxic to naturally fast-growing cells in the body such as intestinal cells and hair follicles, most chemotherapy drugs affect both normal and cancerous tissue. However, Dr. Karen and her colleagues have developed a way to localize the drug