At UNC, stem cell treatment for brain tumors shows promise
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Neurosurgeons who treat patients with aggressive brain cancer say there have been few major advances in treating the deadly tumors, but now researchers at the University of North Carolina may be on the brink of a breakthrough.
In his lab at UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Assistant Professor Shawn Hingtgen works to revolutionize the treatment of brain cancer.
“We think the cure would actually come from a stem cell,” he said.
A glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain tumor. Even after the cancer is removed, neurosurgeons say it often returns.
“Almost always the tumors have little tentacles or fingers that escape the surgeon’s eye or escape the radiation so the tumors recur with great frequency,” explained Dr. Matt Ewend, the chair of neurosurgery at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Surgery, chemo, radiation gives patients about a year to survive and really that’s not very good, and really