2017 Researcher Gelareh Zadeh

“Pimonidazole as a specific marker for hypoxia in glioblastoma and identification of marker genes associated with its uptake”

Gelareh Zadeh
Neurosurgery, Princess Margaret Cancer Center

Project Summary:

Gelareh Zadeh - 2017 Research Grant Recipient

Glioblastoma is the deadliest and the most highly vascularized brain tumour in adults; however, blood circulation is highly inefficient in these tumours. A hallmark of GBM is areas of cell death (necrosis) within the tumour, which is likely due to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia). Hypoxia plays a major role in tumour growth and resistance to therapy. Furthermore, the degree of cell death within GBM tumours correlates with adverse patient outcome. Hypoxic stress has been linked to several changes that are fundamental to malignant progression of GBM and other tumour types. 

Pimonidazole (PIMO) is a specific marker of hypoxia that has been used to delineate hypoxic regions within several tumour types. We have shown that PIMO crosses blood brain barrier in patients’ GBMs without adverse effects. We propose to administer PIMO to GBM patients prior to surgery. Resected tumours will be processed and analyzed for PIMO uptake, which will be correlated with patient survival. We will perform genomic analysis of GBM tumour cells that take up PIMO to identify novel molecular signatures associated with hypoxia in GBM. We hope to investigate the value of PIMO, and other newly discovered molecular markers, as predictors of patient outcome and development of novel therapeutic strategies.

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