Ann Conkle
May 10, 2012

Stem cells protect from side effects of chemotherapy

Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have transplanted brain cancer patients' own gene-modified blood stem cells in order to protect their bone marrow against chemotherapy’s toxic side effects. Initial results of the ongoing, small trial, involving three patients with glioblastoma, showed that two patients survived longer than predicted if they had not been given the transplants, and a third patient remains alive with no disease progression almost three years after treatment. "We found that patients were able to tolerate the chemotherapy better and without negative side effects after transplantation of the gene-modified stem cells than patients in previous studies who received the same type of chemotherapy without a transplant of gene-modified stem cells," said Hans-Peter Kiem, M.D., senior author of the study, published today in Science Translational Medicine.