Potential new weapon in war on ‘chemobrain’

August 04, 2011
Dr. Daniela Bota and Dr. Mark Linskey

IN THE NEWS: Survival for brain-cancer patients treated with chemotherapy comes with a dark side: “chemobrain,” the debilitating loss of memory and mental function that often follows, according to an article in the Orange County Register.

Now, scientists at the UC Irvine Medical Center are preparing a new weapon that could one day clear the cognitive fog. By manipulating stem cells, researchers Dr. Daniela Bota and Dr. Mark Linskey, both doctors who also treat cancer patients, say they may be able to place a bull’s eye over tumor cells and wipe them out, while leaving the brain intact. Their successes so far have all taken place in a petri dish, and it will likely be years before they can try their method on human patients. But already, one expert is calling their discovery “the first truly novel approach to brain tumor therapy in more than four decades.”

“Our cause and our passion is to take care of patients,” Bota told a recent visitor to her lab on the hospital’s campus in Orange. “That always comes first.”

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