News / Health

Patient’s Fat May Help Treat Brain Tumors

Harvesting stem cells from a person's fat could prove effective in treating brain cancer, according to a new report.Harvesting stem cells from a person's fat could prove effective in treating brain cancer, according to a new report.
x
Harvesting stem cells from a person's fat could prove effective in treating brain cancer, according to a new report.
Harvesting stem cells from a person's fat could prove effective in treating brain cancer, according to a new report.
Art Chimes
Stem cells taken from a patient’s own body fat may one day be used to treat a deadly brain cancer, based on some promising but still preliminary research.

The brain tumor known as glioblastoma occurs mostly in men, and most patients don’t live much more than a year after being diagnosed.

Most of the cancer can be removed by surgery, “but unfortunately we just can’t cure the cancer, and we have to rely on other techniques to be able to do it,” says Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa.

He and his colleagues are trying to improve a treatment aimed at the cancer cells left behind after most of the tumor is cut away in surgery.

In recent years, doctors have focused on a kind of adult stem cell called mesenchymal stem cells, which are drawn to these cancer cells.

“They can track those cells that are migrating in the human brain, and they can actually deliver a treatment. We can use them as Trojan horses,” Quiñones said.

The mesenchymal stem cells now used on patients come from donor bone marrow. Quiñones’ new idea is to get them from the patient’s own fat tissue, a procedure which is cheaper and less invasive, and also avoids the risk of rejection.

In laboratory tests, as he reports in PLOS ONE, the results seem promising, even though he admits it’s not exactly clear how these stem cells seek out the cancer cells. But once they reach the cancer, they can target the disease in two ways.

“They seem to secrete something that makes these tumors less aggressive already. And then we couple that with the ability to genetically engineer them to deliver a treatment that we know that can be effective on brain cancer.”

Alfredo Quiñones and his colleagues have begun experiments with animals, but he says it will be three to five years before human trials begin.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: James Shaw from: United States
March 17, 2013 4:25 AM
When I think about cancer, I think about the people in the world who have done the most innovative things to treat it and succeeded at it, then I look at what they're up to nowadays. Follow the doctors who succeed. No need to play guessing games. My top following is the guy who built a cancer treatment and sold it for $6.5 BILLION (Erbitux, one of the top head and neck cancer treatments today). I think he's one of the people everyone should be following when it comes to the ultimate cure for cancer. This article was very informative for me in terms of figuring out where real scientists with hundreds of millions in personal wealth are putting their time, even when they don't need to work: http://www.trefis.com/stock/snti/articles/168060/could-dr-harlan-waksals-final-gift-to-the-world-be-the-cure-for-cancer/2013-02-11
Follow the money, right? Why would someone with almost a billion dollars in personal wealth be working on this new cancer treatment? I bet this Erbitux guys believes he has found it...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs