From the Outside In
With convergence across disciplines so embedded in our culture, solutions can come from unexpected collaborations that you may not find elsewhere. For instance, brain tumor treatment options can be greatly enhanced when a neurosurgeon joins forces with a pharmaceutical scientist.
Tumors known as glioblastomas are notoriously difficult to treat, with fewer than 10 percent of patients surviving ﬁve years. Through collaborations with Matt Ewend, M.D., who leads UNC Lineberger’s neuro-oncology group, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., knew that these patients needed a different form of treatment to ﬁght off this particularly virulent cancer.
Building on existing stem cell technology, Dr. Hingtgen and his team of researchers re-engineered ordinary skin cells into extraordinary cancer-hunting stem cells that, paired with an anti-cancer drug, can destroy the small cancerous tendrils that surgery often leaves behind. Through novel research and engineering, he reprograms skin cells into therapeutic agents, a ﬁrst in the treatment of cancer.
With incredible minds, unwavering focus and a diversity of perspectives, we go beyond simply making great strides for our patients, but push the boundaries of everything treatment is and can be.