Stem cells as cancer therapy
Stem cells and metastatic cancer: fatal attraction?
It is widely hoped that neural stem cells will eventually be useful for replacing nerves damaged by degenerative diseases like Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis. But there may also be another use for such stem cells--delivering anti-cancer drugs to cancer cells.
A Perspective article in PLoS Medic ine, by Professor Riccardo Fodde (Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands), discusses a new study in mice, published in the launch issue of PLoS ONE (www.plosone.org), that showed that neural stem cells could be used to help deliver anti-cancer drugs to metastatic cancer cells.
One of the characteristics of neural stem cells is their tendency to move towards diseased areas (scientists call this phenomenon "pathotropism"). This characteristic, says Professor Fodde, "makes them particularly attractive candidates not only to replace damaged tissue in degenerative pathologies, but also to deliver therapeutic molecules in patients with disseminated metastatic cancer."
In the study published in PLoS ONE, Karen Aboody and colleagues report on the eradication of disseminated metastases in a mouse model of a cancer called neuroblastoma. The researchers took advantage of the tumor-tropic (selective migration towards cance r cells) properties of neural stem cells engineered to express an enzyme that activates an anti-cancer drug.
It is much too early to know whether this study in mice will lead to any kind of valuable treatment for humans with cancer. Clinical trials in humans are needed before doctors can know whether stem cells have a role in cancer therapy. Professor Fodde also says that there will be a number of concerns about the safety of such human trials, which he discusses in his Perspective.
PLoS ONE, the latest journal published by the Public Library of Science, represents a new kind of open access online journal that uses state of the art functionality ("Open Access 2.0"). The journal features reports of primary research from all disciplines within science and medicine. By not excluding papers on the basis of subject area, PLoS ONE facilitates the discovery of the connections between papers whether within or between disciplines.< br />
Citation: Fodde, R (2006) Stem cells and metastatic cancer: Fatal attraction? PLoS Med 3(12): e482.
PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT:
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-12-fodde.pdf
Related image for press use: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-12-fodde.jpg
- Caption: Schematic diagram of the protocol used by Aboody and colleagues
Erasmus University Medical Center
Department of Experimental pathology
Josephine Nefkens Institute
Suite 201, P.O. Box 1738
3000 Rotterdam, Netherlands
+31 10 4088490
+31 10 4088450 (fax)
Related PLoS ONE Research Article:
Citation: Aboody KS, Bush RA, Garcia E, Metz MZ, Najbauer J, et al (2006) Development of a Tumor-Selective Approach to Treat Metastatic Cancer. PLoS ONE 1(1): e23.
PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000023
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/pone-01-01-aboody.pdf
EMBARGO: MONDAY, 25 December, 5 P.M. PST
PLEASE MENTION THE OPEN-ACCESS JOURNAL PLoS MEDICINE (www.plosmedicine.org) AS THE SOURCE FOR THESE ARTICLES AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THE FREELY-AVAILABLE TEXT. THANK YOU.
All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.
About PLoS Medicine
PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org
About the Public Library of Science
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.