Induced neural stem cell therapy: a treatment option for triple-negative breast cancer?

A team of researchers have demonstrated that induced neural stem cell therapy may hold promise in the treatment of primary triple-negative breast cancer.

May 01, 2019
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In research presented today at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Annual Meeting (29 April–May 2, Washington, DC, USA), a team of researchers from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC, USA) and the University of Ostrava (Czech Republic) have demonstrated that induced neural stem cell therapy may hold promise as a treatment option for primary triple-negative breast cancer.

Current treatment options for breast cancer are namely chemotherapy, however, the systemic toxicity associated with non-targeted chemotherapy limits both the dose and its therapeutic effect.

In this study, researchers aimed to investigate the effect of targeted hiNSC therapy against primary triple-negative breast cancer.

The team developed a tumor-homing cell line by transdifferentiating human fibroblasts to induced neural stem cells (hiNSCs). The scientists then performed an in vitro co-culture assay to evaluate the tumor killing efficacy of the hiNSCs, which had been equipped with a cytotoxic gene, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). House-bred mice were used to study the migration and persistence, as well as the therapeutic efficacy of hiNSCs. 

In animals treated with cytotoxic hiNSCs, the average tumor volume in the animals was reduced by 75% compared with control treated mice, 14-days post-treatment.

Overall, these findings suggest that hiNSCs are able to migrate to the tumor site and reduce tumor burden after a single dose of systemic cell administration, in the triple-negative primary breast cancer mouse model. Furthermore, the researchers believe that their results provide a solid foundation for future studies to treat metastatic peripheral tumors.

Source: Jiang W, Mercer-Smith A, Bago J, Anders C, Hingtgen S. Induced neural stem cell therapy to treat triple negative breast cancer. Presented at: American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, USA. 2019

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