2012 Researcher Paula Foster

In Vivo MRI Characterization of Changing Blood-Tumour Barrier Permeability in a Mouse Model of Brain Metastasis

brain tumour researcher paula foster

Paula Foster
Robarts Research Institute: London, Ontario
Award: $23,500.00

What does the title mean?

This research focuses on the cells responsible for blocking treatment to the brain, specifically multi-drug resistant glioblastoma multiforme

Project Summary:

The most common tumours in the central nervous system are metastases originating from lung and breast cancer. Brain metastasis occurs in 15-25% of metastatic breast cancer patients. A diagnosis of brain metastases is terrifying. Untreated, the median survival time is 2–3 months; aggressive treatment extends this only marginally, to 4–12 months.

The blood brain barrier (BBB) tightly controls the passage of substrates from the blood into the brain and this hinders delivery of chemotherapeutics to metastatic tumours in the brain. When tumours develop the local BBB, sometimes referred to as the blood-tumor-barrier (BTB), can become leaky (or permeable). However, not all tumours are permeable. Within one individual there can exist both permeable and non-permeable tumours. This makes treatment very complicated.

In this project we are using a mouse model of breast cancer metastasis to the brain and advanced MRI tools to detect and monitor the leakiness of brain tumours over time in the whole brain. We expect our research will produce important information about what influences tumour growth and permeability in the brain. It is critical to understand the conditions that cause altered and heterogeneous BBB permeability in order to advance the development of treatments for brain tumours.

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