Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells to Hunt Down and Shrink Brain Tumors

by Shelby

Brain cancer is something that is not easy to treat, to say the least. It can sometimes spread it’s roots throughout the brain tissue making it impossible to remove through surgery.

This is devastating as it has led to terrifyingly low survival rates. However, researchers have a method well on the way of how to kill this cancer and get rid of it. They hope to do this via stem cells. It appears there has been a lot of research and experimentation done regarding stem cells and the things we can potentially do with them.

Researchers intend to use stem cells to track down the cancer, kill it and then remove it. In doing this they have managed to shrink the brain tumors in mice to two to five percent their original size. This is something that has already been tried before using neural stem cells to track down and deliver cancer-killing drugs to tumors in mice. The only real issue with this method is that it is a bit complicated to get neural stem cells from humans.

When it comes to getting neural stem cells in the human body the safest way is a two step process that takes a long time. When doing something like this time is everything. These people are dealing with brain cancer and it is only going to get worse if nothing is done about it. Luckily the research team I first mentioned has found a way to actually speed up the process.

By removing one of the steps completely they have been able to produce neural stem cells from adult skin cells in just four days. Of course, in order to be able to achieve this the skin cells were treated with a plethora of biochemicals it is still quite interesting. These neural stem cells have been tested and are said to behave exactly as the ones created using the two-step method.

According to Hingtgen one of the researchers, they are on their way to something great. We will soon be able to treat glioblastoma via stem cell treatment. He mentioned they are only one or two years away from clinical trials. This meaning in the very near future brain cancer may be something much easier to deal with.

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