1. Experimental strem cell therapy of neurodegenerative and ischemic dieseases of the central nervous system.
2. Diagnostic and therapeutic options for malignant brain tumours.
1. Experimental stem cell therapy of neurodegenerative and ischemic central nervous system disease.
The adult human CNS has only minimal intrinsic regenerative potential. Acute lesions of the CNS like stroke and chronic neurodegenerative diseases lead to irreversible loss of neurons with often severe persisting functional deficits. Current therapeutic options mostly do not lead to significant functional regeneration with replacement of lost neurons that integrate adequately into existing neuronal networks. Thus, research on alternative therapeutic options is important. Two promising experimental approaches are currently followed. Whereas the stimulation of endogenous neurogenesis has been shown to improve regeneration in animal models, transplantation of exogenous neural tissue to replace lost neurons has been studied in clinical trials.
Current projects investigate the influence of transplanted cells on the immune response after transplantation into the central nervous system and the effects of immunomodulation by transplanted cells on disease progression in the host and on survival of transplanted cells with the aim to improve therapeutic options in CNS disease.
2. Diagnostic and therapeutic options in malignant brain tumours
Glioma, and among these the glioblastoma, are the most prevalent primary tumours of the human brain. The identification of prognostically or therapeutically relevant molecular markers is pivotal to the development of personalised therapy. Current therapeutic options other than surgery are mainly based on the inhibition of proliferation of tumour cells (chemotherapy, radiation) or the inhibition of angiogenesis. Glioma stem cells have been implicated in the resistance of glioma to therapy.
In current projects proliferating cells in glioma are characterised with immunhistochemical methods with the aim to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic options.