A study by French and US researchers has uncovered the beneficial role played by a network of lymphatic vessels, tubes which carry diseasefighting white blood cell, in treating a common brain tumour.
Researchers from the Brain & Spine Institute (Inserm/CNRS/Sorbonne University), the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital APHP and Yale School of Medicine), found that in mice the glioblastoma tumour would disappear if the meningeal lymphatic vascular network, situated in the brain, was enlarged.
This enlargement was achieved by injecting a growth factor into the network. The subsequent growth then saw the mass entry of white blood cells into the area of the tumour - these white blood cells would otherwise be absent.
In the short-term this destroys the tumour, but also protects against future tumour growth due to the presence of ‘memory cells’.
Jean-Léon Thomas, one of the authors of the study, said: “We are currently exploring the functional mechanisms and therapeutic potential of this vascular network, and in other nervous system diseases – neurodegenerative, neurovascular and infectious.”