Your Fat Cells Can Fight Brain Cancer

A major challenge in treating glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, is that after the initial tumor is removed, outlying malignant cells migrate to other parts of the brain.

But a new lab study from Johns Hopkins University finds that stem cells from a patient’s own fat deposits may help change that. Mesenchymal stem cells from fat can seek out damaged cells, including cancer, and might one day be used to deliver cancer-killing drugs to previously hard-to-reach areas of the brain.

“They’re Trojan horses you can load with ammunition,” says study author Alfredo QuiƱones- Hinojosa, MD. “They go into the brain, track migratory cancer cells, and—boom—they deliver the cargo.” Someday they may also help treat other cancers. —Emily Main

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