Nanomedicines and cell-based therapies for embryonal tumors of the nervous system
Cell-based therapy
Embryonal tumor
Nervous system
Issue Date: 
Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license
El-Moukhtari, S.H. (Souhaila H.); Garbayo, E. (Elisa); Fernández-Teijeiro, A. (Ana); et al. "Nanomedicines and cell-based therapies for embryonal tumors of the nervous system". Journal of Controlled Release. (348), 2022, 553 - 571
Embryonal tumors of the nervous system are neoplasms predominantly affecting the pediatric population. Among the most common and aggressive ones are neuroblastoma (NB) and medulloblastoma (MB). NB is a sympathetic nervous system tumor, which is the most frequent extracranial solid pediatric cancer, usually detected in children under two. MB originates in the cerebellum and is one of the most lethal brain tumors in early childhood. Their tumorigenesis presents some similarities and both tumors often have treatment resistances and poor prognosis. High-risk (HR) patients require high dose chemotherapy cocktails associated with acute and long-term toxicities. Nanomedicine and cell therapy arise as potential solutions to improve the prognosis and quality of life of children suffering from these tumors. Indeed, nanomedicines have been demonstrated to efficiently reduce drug toxicity and improve drug efficacy. Moreover, these systems have been extensively studied in cancer research over the last few decades and an increasing number of anticancer nanocarriers for adult cancer treatment has reached the clinic. Among cell-based strategies, the clinically most advanced approach is chimeric-antigen receptor (CAR) T therapy for both pathologies, which is currently under investigation in phase I/II clinical trials. However, pediatric drug research is especially hampered due not only to ethical issues but also to the lack of efficient pre-clinical models and the inadequate design of clinical trials. This review provides an update on progress in the treatment of the main embryonal tumors of the nervous system using nanotechnology and cell-based therapies and discusses key issues behind the gap between preclinical studies and clinical trials in this specific area. Some directions to improve their translation into clinical practice and foster their development are also provided.

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