Brain cancer stem cells are susceptible to a cancer-killing virus, which caused the death of brain tumors cells in mice and in test cells.
To achieve long-term remission, a treatment for brain cancer must kill the brain tumor stem cells that are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy.
Hong Jiang, Ph.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues tested whether the virus could be targeted to brain tumor cells. They were able to infect four cancer stem cell lines with the virus, which caused the cells to die. Mice with brain tumors from the cancer stem cells lived longer when they were injected with the virus than those given an inactivated version.
?Our data are important because brain tumor stem cells are the driving force sustaining tumor growth, and therefore developing therapies to target the brain tumor stem cells should be a more effective strategy than conventional treatments,? the authors write.