Funding an annual research grant for glioblastoma brain tumors is one of the key goals of The Nick Gonzales Foundation. The Foundation funded a number of brain tumor research projects including:
Targeting glioma cancer stem cells using bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.
Recent studies suggest that malignant gliomas harbor a rare fraction of cells, called Glioma Cancer Stem Cells (GCSCs). It is believed that GCSCs are responsible for tumor recurrence due to their resistence to most therapies. Therefore, the development of strategies that target and eliminate these GCSCs would represent a major advance in the treatment of gliomas. In this context, we have demonstrated that human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSGs – stem cells that can be isolated from a patient’s bone marrow), selectively target gliomas after intravascular delivery in human xenograft models. We have also shown that hMSGs engineered to secrete Interferon-B(hMSC-IFN-B) effectively inhibit the growth of gliomas. Although hMSCs are a promising strategy for targeting gliomas, there true potential as therapeutic delivery vehicles would be enhanced by a clear demonstration that hMSCs are capable of targeting GCSCs. However, it is currently unknown whether hMSCs are capable of selectively homing to GCSC or whether hMSCs-IFN-B are capable of eradicating GCSC-derived tumors. This project proposes to answer these questions.
The effects of Ruta 6/Calc Phos on tumor growth and survival in rats injected with a high grade glioma.
To see a complete list of all research grants awarded by the National Brain Tumor Foundation, visit www.braintumor.org.