The laboratory aims to understand the biological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of malignant brain tumors , and to identify and characterize novel molecular targets for targeted therapies, including cell and gene therapy, against high grade gliomas.
ROLE OF CANCER STEM CELLS IN BRAIN TUMOUR INITIATION AND PROGRESSION
Recent studies have described stem-like cancer cells in several tumours including malignant glioma. This project aims to identify such cells in glioblastoma and characterize them functionally and phenotypically. Using glioma xenografts in GFP-expressing immunodeficient mice, we are able to separate tumour cells from the host cell compartment and characterize subpopulations of cancer cells. The overall aim of this project is to identify molecular processes involved in tumour initiation and characterize key molecules involved in tumour-host interactions. The project will also provide novel insight into the current cancer stem cell controversy.