Novel Gene Therapy to Mitigate Effects of Chemotherapy on Patients’ Cognitive Abilities

We are thrilled to share an exciting update from Dr. Naama Kanarek’s lab, whose recent breakthrough and publication was made possible because of the support of the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation.

Dr. Kanarek and her team recently discovered a novel gene therapy approach that shows great promise to mitigate the lifelong negative and currently untreatable effects of chemotherapy on patients’ cognitive abilities.

Her team’s results, published in Neuron, reveal that targeted antioxidant therapy protects the brain from the irreversible and toxic neurological side effects of the lifesaving chemotherapy methotrexate.

Based on these discoveries, Dr. Kanarek and her team plan to study other chemotherapies known to result in brain toxicities and compromise cancer survivors’ quality of life, and explore the exciting possibility of applying easy-administered antioxidants – such as vitamin C – to ameliorate the heart-breaking cognitive impairment induced by commonly used cancer treatments.

A summary of the publication can be found on the Boston Children’s Hospital blog, Answers, and linked here is a PDF of the Neuron publication.