2014 Researcher Dr. John Kelly

Combinatorial treatment of glioblastoma initiating cells with microglial cytokines and STAT3 inhibition

Dr. John Kelly; Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor, Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary

Dr. john KellyProject Summary:

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumor, and it harbors a dismal prognosis. GBMs have been shown to contain brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs), a
subpopulation of tumor cells with the capacity to proliferate and generate the other cells within a tumor. BTICs are powerful mediators of immunosuppression through regulation of immune cell responses and they are highly resistant to treatment leading inevitably to tumor recurrence. We seek to reduce the immunosuppressive abilities of GBM BTICs while simultaneously targeting them with growth inhibitory microglial cytokines.

We hope to demonstrate efficacy of this approach and begin to understand the mechanisms by which these strategies impact GBM BTICs. This work will form the basis for further preclinical studies that attempt to sway the tumor-immune interactions in favor of microglia in order to suppress GBMs.

This project may help develop a novel combinatorial therapeutic approach whereby BTIC driven immunosuppression is inhibited and compromised innate immunity is simultaneously reactivated in order to improve the prognosis for patients with GBM.

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