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Research Article

Donor-Derived Brain Tumor Following Neural Stem Cell Transplantation in an Ataxia Telangiectasia Patient

  • Ninette Amariglio,

    Affiliations: Cancer Research Center, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel, Institute of Hematology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

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  • Abraham Hirshberg,

    Affiliation: Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Bernd W Scheithauer,

    Affiliation: Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, United States of America

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  • Yoram Cohen,

    Affiliation: Cancer Research Center, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Ron Loewenthal,

    Affiliation: Tissue Typing Laboratory, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Luba Trakhtenbrot,

    Affiliation: Institute of Hematology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

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  • Nurit Paz,

    Affiliation: Cancer Research Center, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Maya Koren-Michowitz,

    Affiliation: Institute of Hematology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

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  • Dalia Waldman,

    Affiliation: Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Leonor Leider-Trejo,

    Affiliation: Institute of Pathology, Tel-Aviv Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Amos Toren,

    Affiliation: Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Shlomi Constantini,

    Affiliation: Pediatric Neurosurgery, Dana Children's Hospital, Tel-Aviv Medical Center, and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Gideon Rechavi mail

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gidi.rechavi@sheba.health.gov.il

    Affiliations: Cancer Research Center, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel, Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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  • Published: February 17, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000029

Reader Comments (11)

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Immune sensitization might kill tumors

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:35 GMT

Author: Curt Freed
Position: Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Neurosurgery
Institution: University of Colorado School of Medicine
E-mail: curt.freed@ucdenver.edu
Submitted Date: March 04, 2009
Published Date: March 5, 2009
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I read with deep concern the report of the tumors developing from stem cells transplanted into the brain of a child.

My laboratory pioneered the use of human fetal dopamine cell transplants for Parkinson’s disease. While we have never had abnormal masses develop in any of the 61 patients we have transplanted over the past 20 years, I had considered methods to attack overgrowth had it occurred.

It may be possible to immunize the patient by subcutaneous injection with the tumor material. If the source lab cooperates, it may also be able to supply tissue from the multiple donors apparently involved. It is conceivable that the stem cells implanted in the brain were not sufficiently immunogenic to rouse the recipient’s own immune system. Therefore, other donor tissue might prove more immunogenic or an immune adjuvant could be added to the subcutaneous immunizing injection.

A cautionary note. Because some of the recipient’s own brain cells could be included in the biopsy material, it is possible that an allergic encephalitis could result. Therefore, pre-transplant stem cells or other tissue from the stem cell donors might be safer.

Everyone is interested and concerned about the outcome for this child. It is my opinion that the child’s immune system might be the best hope for eliminating the cell masses.

No competing interests declared.