Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Harvard Study - Stem Cells Are Primary Source of Brain Tumor Growth

With more than 20 years of experience in the psychiatric field, Dr. Antonio Bullon serves as the medical director of the geriatric treatment unit at the MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Antonio Bullon teaches in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.

A recent study led by Harvard Medical School researchers revealed that cancer stem cells play a significant role in the proliferation of oligodendroglioma, a type of brain cancer that grows at a slow rate but cannot be cured. It’s the first time that growth patterns of these cells have been specifically observed in brain tumors.

Researchers looked at more than 4,000 tumors to study three different types of cells: stems cells and two other types involved in cell differentiation. The researchers found that, in these tumors, stem cells were the only ones showing growth. 

Study author and Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Pathology Mario SuvĂ  said that this research “strongly supports” the conclusion that stem cells are the primary type of cells that grow in these brain tumors, making them the prime target for treatment strategies.