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Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2007 Jan;18(1):71-80, ix.

Stem cells as vehicles for the treatment of brain cancer.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


Stem cell therapy represents a promising new therapeutic modality for infiltrative gliomas. The promise of this emerging technology centers on the potent migratory tropism exhibited by stem cells for disseminated foci of intracranial pathologic findings. This important characteristic, which has been validated in a wide set of preclinical studies, forms a foundation for the use of transplanted stem cell populations as vehicles for the delivery of tumor-toxic molecules to sites of intracranial tumor. Nevertheless, although experimental models using this technique to target brain tumors have shown encouraging results, many concerns and questions remain to be addressed before realistic clinical implementation of this strategy can begin. Key among these are an inadequate understanding of the specific tropic mechanisms that govern stem cell migration toward invasive tumors and the need to identify appropriate tissue sources and culture processes for the generation of adequate therapeutic stem cell populations. Despite these limitations, the use of stem cells as vectors for the treatment of brain tumors holds significant promise and may prove to be an important therapeutic modality for patients with malignant glioma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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