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Glioma Cell Therapy

Bengzon Group

Our Research

One major research line is to clarify changes in the glioblastoma (GBM) stroma between primary surgery and tumor recurrence. Tissue from both primary surgery and reoperations from the same patients, allows in depth analysis of the evolution of glioblastoma over time with the goal of development of diagnostic monitoring and identification of druggable GBM stromal targets in recurrent brain tumors.

The aim of the second part is to develop cellular vectors that can be used in an initial clinical trial within three years. Two different principal therapeutic payloads delivered by tumor-tropic mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are explored: a) Glioma-targeting MSCs in combination with immunotherapy b) Nanoparticle-carrying MSCs for tumor-targeted hyperthermia treatment and monitoring of glioblastoma

As a third major line of research, we explore, in collaboration with associate professor Henrik Ahlénius group if GBM cells can be reprogrammed to neuron like cells in vitro and in vivo. We have already acquired proof-of-principle showing that reprogramming towards astrocytic fate causes morphological changes, reduces proliferation and bestow astrocytic function in human GBM cell lines.

The applicant is responsible for a brain tumor tissue biobank which provides the basis for the studies on human GBM tumor cells and stroma.


  • To elucidate the contribution of stromal cells to brain tumor progression and recurrence
  • To develop Multipotent mesenchymal stroma cell vectors for therapy of glioblastoma
  • Reprogramming of tumor cells to neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes


Our lab have, at the cutting edge of this research area, systematically been studying the mesenchymal stroma of GBM during the past years. We have identified and isolated mesenchymal stromal cells and studied some of their functions. We have also developed grafting of exogenous, bone marrow-derived MSCs as a local, targeted therapy of GBM. Direct cellular reprogramming of glioblastoma might provide proof of concept for a GBM therapy based on delivery of reprogramming factors. Preclinical trials are designed with the distinct aim to rapidly implement the results in clinical trials.

List of Team Bengzon's publications


(name linked to profile in Lund University research portal)

Johan Bengzon

Principal Investigator, Johan [dot] Bengzon [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Johan[dot]Bengzon[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Jiaxin Li

Postdoc, Jiaxin [dot] Li [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Jiaxin[dot]Li[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Francesco Trovato

Postdoc, Francesco [dot] Trovato [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Francesco[dot]Trovato[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Irene Grubor

Physician, irena [dot] grubor [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Irena[dot]Grubor[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)


Johan Bengzon

Johan Bengzon

Principal Investigator
Professor of Neurosurgery
Phone: + 46 70 5549500
Email: Johan [dot] Bengzon [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Johan[dot]Bengzon[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Profile in Lund University research portal

Current Major Grants