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New Method Helps Researchers Zero In On Drugs That Can Kill Brain Cancer Stem Cells

Posted Oct 13 2011 5:45pm

Researchers with UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a new screening approach to identify chemical compounds that can target and kill the stem cells responsible for creating deadly brain tumors.

Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest malignancies, typically killing patients within 12 to 18 months. These brain cancers consist of two kinds of cells: a larger, heterogeneous population of tumor cells and a smaller sub-population of stem cells, which are treatment-resistant.

The new high-throughput molecular screening approach developed by the UCLA team was specifically designed to find drugs that can target that sub-population and prevent it from re-seeding the brain cancer, said the study’s senior author, Dr. Harley Kornblum, a Jonsson Cancer Center scientist and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences.

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