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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Mark Weiss

Department: Anatomy & Physiology
weiss@vet.ksu.edu
Departmental Website

“Recently, significant advances have been made in the fields of virology and molecular biology, and in understanding the genetic alterations present in central nervous system (CNS) tumors. This knowledge has encouraged the use of a variety of gene therapy strategies for brain tumors. Currently, the most significant hurdle is gene delivery/gene transfer. Various vectors (delivery systems) can be used to deliver a wide variety of anti-cancer genes. However, one of the major issues confronting these strategies revolves around the blood-brain barrier that may limit penetration of vectors and genes into the tumor. Using studies in the pig, we have shown that umbilical cord matrix (UCM) cells can populate the brain, and can be used to make proteins that do not normally appear there. We are working towards the use of these cells to make anti-cancer proteins at the site of brain tumors.”