Stem Cell Therapy Effective In Targeting Metastatic Cancer

Stem Cell Therapy Effective In Targeting Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic cancer refers to a cancer that has spread from the original tumor site to a distant part or parts of the body. Metastatic cancer spreads the original cancer cells found in the primary tumor, and creates new tumors elsewhere in the body. Cancer can become metastatic via the bloodstream and lymph nodes.

Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital may have found a way to treat cancers that have spread throughout the body in a more effective manner. They used modified neural stem cells to activate and concentrate chemotherapeutic drugs predominately at tumor sites, so that normal tissue surrounding the tumor and throughout the body remain relatively unharmed.

“This approach could significantly improve future treatme nt options for patients with metastatic cancer,” said Karen Aboody, 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.”

Commonly the spread to regional lymph nodes that are situated near the primary tumor is not a marker of the development of the second tumor, but it is a sign of worse prognosis. Mesothelioma is a very aggressive type of cancer that can spread in other organs and tissues. Almost always it is incurable. It is always a big problem to control its growth. Mesothelioma as any malignant kind of cancer has a tendency to spread the cancer all over the body.

The results hold promise for treating solid tumors that metastasize including neuroblastoma, which represents 6% to 10% of all childhood cancers worldwide, with higher proportions in children under 2 years of age.

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