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Jakob Magolan – 2022 Research Grant Recipient

Jakob MagolanJakob Magolan – McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

Project Title: “Development of Anti-Brain Metastasis Therapeutics”

Description of Project:

Secondary, or metastatic, brain cancers are ten times more common than cancers that originate in the brain. These typically spread to the brain from lung cancers, breast cancers, and melanomas. The current standard of care is surgery and/or radiation therapy. Metastatic brain cancers have a 90% mortality rate within one year of diagnosis. Our team used animal models of brain metastases to discover discovered “pre-metastatic” brain metastasis-initiating cells (BMICs). These cells are “newly arrived” in the brain and have yet to form detectable tumours. These pre-metastatic BMICs are a unique and important new cellular target for the development of a new class of future cancer therapeutics designed to prevent brain metastasis. We now propose to pursue a medicinal chemistry research program that aims to develop a new drug-candidate compound that selectively kills BMICs. This drug would be used in combination with conventional treatments for lung, breast, and melanoma tumours to prevent metastatic brain cancers.

What receiving this award means:

“This generous award from the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada will support an innovative therapeutic development program underway in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. In partnership with Prof. Sheila Singh and her team, we working to develop a new class of cancer therapies that can intercept and prevent the metastasis of cancers to the brain from other primary sites. We know that metastatic brain cancers are ten times more common than cancers that originate in the brain. Whereas primary tumors can often be treated effectively, patients that subsequently develop metastatic brain cancers have only a 10 % survival rate one year after diagnosis. Research data from cellular and animal models of brain metastasis in our labs has revealed the potential to design new first-in-class anti-metastasis drugs that would be paired with conventional treatments for lung cancers, breast cancers, and melanomas to prevent metastatic brain cancer. We are enthusiastic about the promise of this therapeutic development research and appreciate the enabling support of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.”