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A New Light on Curing Brain Cancer

March 02, 2016
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When it comes to brain cancer, the prognosis is often grim. It's especially so in Glioblastoma, the most common and deadliest form of brain tumor. Glioblastomas belong to a class of specific brain tumors that are known as gliomas. Only around 30% of patients with this condition live beyond two years after they are diagnosed with the cancer. It's estimated that 12,120 cases will be diagnosed just this year. The reason why this disease is so deadly is because of how challenging it is for surgeons to remove the tumors. Often times, after the glioblastoma is removed, there will be remnants of the tumor left. These cancerous tendrils can easily embed themselves back inside the brain, creating a new glioblastoma. Fortunately, researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill have new studies that could change the treatment of brain cancer as we know it. The UNC researchers came out with a treatment for not only the brain cancer but to kill the leftover cancerous tendrils as well. The researchers reprogrammed fibroblasts, which are collagen-producing cells in connective tissue, by turning them into neutral stem cells. Through this reprogramming, the neutral stem cells were able to quickly hunt down and kill the tendrils that were left in the brain, preventing future cancer. shutterstock_238082596 The research team had major success when they tried the new treatment on mice. The survival rate for the mice increased by 160-220% when the neutral stem cells were put into action. To learn more about the next steps for this research team and their findings, follow them on their medical website. It's always great to see other academic communities putting their medical knowledge to amazing use!
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