Spencer Gibson – Research Grant – 2012

Spencer Gibson, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Project Title: “Targeting Bci-2 family members for treatment under hypoxia in glioblastoma multiforme tumours”

What does the title mean?

The research will provide insight into how to achieve effective treatment strategies that will target cells lacking oxygen in glioblastoma multiforme tumours, an environment in which the tumours adapt and thrive.

Project Summary:

Spencer GibsonPatients with glioblastoma (GBM) have a very poor prognosis with limited treatment options. The tumors have adapted to a microenvironment with extensive hypoxia (low oxygen levels), and elevated growth factor signaling to survive.

GBM tumors have increased activation of growth factor receptor EGFR and its mutated receptor, EGFRvIII allowing them to survive hypoxia.

We will investigate the role of Bcl-2 family members Mcl-1 and BNIP3 that are controlled by growth factors and hypoxia to determine whether we could block hypoxic survival signals that allow GBM cells to escape low oxygen conditions.

This study will provide insight into how to achieve effective treatment strategies that will target hypoxic cells in GBM tumours.