Dr. Kevin Petrecca, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, Montreal, QC
Project Title: “Development of novel therapeutics to prevent brain cancer invasion”
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and invasive adult brain cancer, and average survival is less than two years. Cancer cell invasion into normal brain is a hallmark of GBM and is major contributor to rapid treatment failure, yet our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate this process remains poorly understood.
Since GBM invasion leads to recurrence near the surgical resection margin in greater than 85% of cases, catheter-based local delivery of anti-invasive therapeutics directly to this area allows for maximal dosing and minimal toxicity. Catheter-based delivery of antisense oligonucleotides is already a globally approved treatment for GBM.
We have identified “downregulated in renal cell carcinoma” (DRR), a tumour suppressor gene, as a driver of GBM invasion. The goal of this research project is to develop an innovative therapeutic approach to prevent brain cancer invasion. We will test the effectiveness of antisense oligonucleotides targeting DRR in preventing brain cancer invasion in a preclinical mouse model of the disease.