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In This Video

  • Brain tumors are difficult to treat because the brain has natural barriers that can resist therapy
  • Here, Bakhos Tannous, PhD, discusses his research on the effects of using stem-like cells to treat brain tumors
  • His team observed that these cells can keep neurons from dying while preventing the brain tumor from migrating, and they can inhibit cancer stem cells from regenerating
  • He believes that these stem-like cells can lead to better responses to radiation therapy

Brain tumors are difficult to treat because the brain has natural barriers that can resist therapy. In this video, Bakhos A. Tannous, PhD, director of the Experimental Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging Lab, describes his research in treating brain tumors more efficiently. His team is using stem-like cells, which have been used for neurological disorders but not for cancer. These cells can keep neurons from dying while preventing the brain tumor from migrating, and they inhibit cancer stem cells from regenerating. He believes that these stem-like cells can lead to better responses to radiation therapy.

Transcript

One of the issues in treating a brain tumor is it's in the brain. The problem that it's in the brain, the brain has this natural filter that doesn't like things to get to it. This is probably one of the major issue why we cannot find a good therapy for brain tumor.

One of the exciting things that we're doing now is trying to develop or to find new ways to get things across this barrier so they attack the tumor in the brain in a much higher efficiency.

We're using stem-like cells that have not been used previously in the clinic—that have not been used in the context of cancer. They have been used in the clinic for different neurological disorders and for different, for instance, spinal cord injury.

They've showed very nice efficacy because they hone to where the inflammation site. They also try to treat the site so they have an anti-inflammatory sense, and they also, they're known to protect neurons from dying.

We observed that this cell type do the same thing in the context of a brain tumor. What they do is they hone to the brain tumor, they inhibit their migration, and they're attacking specifically these cancer stem cell and they're inhibiting their stem cell property.

In a similar way that what these cells would do naturally during development, which in the context of neural stem cell. So they're inhibiting the self-renewal property of cancer stem cells in glioblastoma.

We're showing that assuming they do that and when you hit the tumor with radiation, the tumor response much, much better to radiation therapy as soon as you're able to remove or to re-phenotype these stem-like cells into a more differentiated state, what we call.

We're very excited about the results we have so far, and we're pushing this very fast to try to achieve the clinical hopefully soon.

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