2011 Researcher Dr. de Robles


Name and Title: Dr. Paula de Robles,a Clinical Assistant Professor 
Location: University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta
Grant Amount: $25,000
Title of Project:  

 Research Summary: 

Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly brain cancer in adults. During treatment, the evaluation of tumor response is performed by serial magnetic resonance images (MRIs). Oftentimes glioblastomas appear larger in these MRIs mimicking cancer progression; however, in 50% of these cases, the larger size of the tumor is a result of excessive inflammation secondary to an effective treatment and not to cancer progression. This phenomenon is called radiographic “pseudo-progression”. As there are no accurate methods to differentiate pseudo-progression from real tumor progression, many patients undergo unnecessary surgery or discontinue an effective treatment only to later discover the harmless reason for the increase in tumor size.

Our research focuses on developing a non-invasive method for diagnosing pseudo-progression by analyzing the features of MRIs with advanced techniques. The results of our research will allow physicians to better tailor treatment to individual patients. In the case of patients that are experiencing real tumor progression during treatment, this unsuccessful treatment can be discontinued and second line therapies can be offered at an early stage, when the treatment has a higher chance of success. On the other hand, the accurate diagnosis of pseudo-progression will let patients continue with their effective treatment with confidence.

Return to the 2011 Research Grant list here.


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