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Purdue Research: A New Way to Treat Glioblastoma

Xiaoping Bao, assistant professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, is looking at novel cancer therapeutics that, when successful, will provide life-saving treatment for those suffering from glioblastoma (GBM), one of the most aggressive and lethal solid tumors in the brain or spinal cord. With gift funding, Bao hopes to move forward with clinical trials.

While efficacious therapeutics have been developed to treat various cancers, their effectiveness in GBM treatment has been hindered largely by the blood-brain barrier and blood-brain-tumor barriers.

Bao believes CAR-neutrophils, or chimeric antigen receptor neutrophils, and engraftable HSCs, or hematopoietic stem cells, are effective types of therapies for blood diseases and cancer. Neutrophils are the most abundant white cell blood type and effectively cross physiological barriers to infiltrate solid tumors. HSCs are specific progenitor cells that will replenish all blood lineages, including neutrophils, throughout life. The problem is that these cells have difficulty expanding to the amount required for infusion.

With the help of three other chemical engineers, Bao has developed a patent-pending method to mass-produce CAR-neutrophils from stem cells that self-renew and are able to become any type of human cell.

Bao and his colleagues believe they have developed a safe, potent, and versatile platform for treating GBM and possibly other devastating diseases.

The next stage of Bao’s work involves clinical trials in dogs with spontaneous glioma, and he hopes the results will allow the research to advance into human models. 

Gift funding is needed for Bao’s work to advance to this next step. Contact Travis Stoutenborough at 765-494-4065 or trstoutenborough@purdueforlife.org to learn more about this project.