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Neurosurgeons looking at stem cells from skin to fight brain tumors

SAN FRANCISCO A team of neurosurgeons and scientists from Italy is looking into whether stem cells derived from a brain tumor patient's own skin can be used to fight the tumors. The researchers successfully grew stem cells from skin samples of adult patients with brain tumors. It is hoped that these cells can then be used as a new brain tumor therapy, which has been attempted successfully in mice. The Italian neurosurgeons made a presentation about their new study at the 54th annual meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, which is being held jointly this year with the Italian Society of Neurosurgeons. The meeting, featuring dozens of seminars and courses led by world leaders in neurosurgery, is being held at the Moscone West Convention Center through Thursday.

Researchers found that mice with brain tumors that were treated with stem cells showed both increased blood supply and decreased tumor growth into the surrounding brain. These mice also lived on average 50 percent longer than mice that weren't given this therapy.

The annual meeting provides continuing medical education for practicing neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents in training, and post-graduate neurosurgical fellows, as well as allied health professionals, including nurses, physician assistants and clinical specialists. This education is provided through lectures, courses demonstrating neurosurgical techniques, exhibits about the newest instruments and technology in the neurosurgical community, and examples of clinical and laboratory advances in neurological surgery.


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