Doublecortin is a protein expressed by developing neurons in the brain, and is a marker indicating the formation of new neurons. One of the paper’s hypotheses is that doublecortin triggers the differentiation of brain tumor stem cells, and therefore inhibits their self-renewal. It therefore favors brain cancer patient survival. The paper by Chopp’s group examines the detailed mechanism by which doublecortin works. Their results imply that recombinant doublecortin (a type of gene therapy) may have the potential to be a useful treatment for brain cancer.