Stem cell treatment may restore cognitive function in patients with brain cancer

July 13, 2011

Stem cell therapy may restore cognition in patients with brain cancer who experience functional learning and memory loss often associated with radiation treatment, according to a laboratory study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Charles Limoli, Ph.D., a professor in the department of at the University of California, Irvine, said radiation therapy is the standard of care for most brain cancers, but the side effects can be devastating.

"In almost every instance, people experience severe cognitive impairment that is progressive, debilitating and adversely impacts quality of life," he said. "Pediatric cancer patients can experience a drop of up to three IQ points per year."

In the current study, Limoli and colleagues subjected rats to cranial irradiation and followed up two days later with human neural . A significant proportion of these cells survived and turned into brain cells found at one- and four-month evaluations. Cognitive function significantly improved compared with control rats.

Limoli said the findings of this study were significant, and may help pave the way for a human safety trial to be conducted within a few years if appropriate funding can be secured. like those used in this study do not present the same ethical questions as .

Related Stories

Recommended for you

No dye: Cancer patients' gray hair darkened on immune drugs

July 21, 2017
Cancer patients' gray hair unexpectedly turned youthfully dark while taking novel drugs, and it has doctors scratching their heads.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.