Elisabeth Manville
Apr 24, 2012

Engineered neural stem cells can target and treat breast cancer in mice

Scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have successfully demonstrated the ability of neural stem cells to target tumor cells outside the central nervous system. The research team discovered that neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells could be used to treat breast cancer. To test the efficiency of NSCs in targeting and treating breast cancer, the researchers injected the cells, loaded with a suicide gene, into mice with breast tumors. They used body imaging technology to observe the distribution and migration of the NSCs. The results showed that the NSCs homed in on the tumors and increased the survival of the mice from 34 to 39 days. “We have demonstrated that tumor-targeting neural stem cells may be derived from human iPS cells, and that these cells may be used in combination with a therapeutic gene to cripple tumor growth,” Shu Wang, who led the research, said.