Brain Tumors

Temozolomide is a standard chemotherapeutic agent used in conjunction with radiation therapy in the treatment of malignant brain tumors. Our work centers on a novel treatment of these tumors whereby Temozolomide is used to activate a known anticancer agent- tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF)- that is injected directly into the tumor mass. In this combination strategy the Temozolomide and TNF work together to synergistically cause tumor cell killing. Although Temozolomide has been extensively studied for many years, our investigations demonstrate that this agent is working by a previously unreported mechanism to facilitate the killing of tumor cells by TNF. The experiments proposed in this project will specifically determine whether Temozolomide is blocking a known survival pathway in tumor cells thus allowing the TNF to kill them.
Malignant gliomas are the most common primary brain tumor in the United States and afflict patients in the prime of their lives. Standard treatment still centers on radiation and chemotherapy even though patient survival has not significantly changed in over 30 years. Newer treatment modalities such as gene therapy have had some success but have failed to uncover a ‘magic bullet’ . It is likely that a rationally devised, multimodal treatment approach will be necessary in this aggressive cancer. In this regard, we have been studying a radiation and chemotherapy activated gene therapy strategy in an animal model. This project will investigate the mechanisms underlying the success seen in our animal experiments and, if successful, may well open up an important area of combination anti-tumor therapy for use in patients suffering from this devastating disease.

Other Grants

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University
Uncovering a Novel Role for Primary Cilia in Eph/Ephrin Signaling in Neurons
2022 Seed GrantSarah C. Goetz, Ph.D. Duke University Women’s Council Seed Grant Primary cilia are tiny projections from cells that function like an antenna- they receive and may also send…
Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University
Circadian Regulation of Oligodendroglial Senescence and Metabolomics in Aging
2022 Seed GrantErin M. Gibson, Ph.D.Stanford University The brain consists of two main classes of cells, neurons and glia. Glia make-up more than half of the cells in the brain…
Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Dynamic Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity During Spatial Exploration
2022 Seed GrantYvette Fisher, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley The Virginia (Ginny) & Roger Carlson Seed Grant Cognitive flexibility is critical for appropriately adjusting thoughts and behaviors to meet changing demands…
Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Unique Vulnerability of Developing Human Cerebral Cortex to Loss of Centrosomal Protein
2022 Seed GrantByoung Il Bae, Ph.D.University of Connecticut Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Seed Grant The cerebral cortex is the largest and outermost part of the human brain. It is…