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The ENDURES Study: Environmental Dynamics Underlying Responsive Extreme Survivors of Glioblastoma

PI: Lei Wang, PhD and Kristin Swanson, PhD

Summary:
This project is a collaboration between the laboratories of Professor Lei Wang (Neuroimaging and Applied Computational Anatomy Lab) and Professor Kristin Swanson (Mathematical Neuro-Oncology Lab). We plan to assess neural capacity and functional recovery in the setting of injury; specifically, the ability of the brain to recover/remodel in long-term glioblastoma multiforme patients.

Presentations:

  • Preliminary Analysis of Contralesional Hemisphere Hippocampal Volume and Cortical Thickness as a Predictor for Survival in a subset of Glioblastoma Multiforme Patients
    de los Angeles, CP, Alpert, KI, Jacobs, J, Rademaker, AW, Raizer, JJ, Swanson, KR, Wang, L Cognitive Neuroscience Society (San Francisco, CA -- March 2015)
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Funding:

  • NIH: T32 NS047987 Training Program in the Neuroscience of Human Cognition (PI: Ken Paller) - This predoctoral fellowship will support Paula's research for her interdisciplinary joint thesis in the laboratories of Professor Lei Wang (Neuroimaging and Applied Computational Anatomy Lab) and Professor Kristin Swanson (Mathematical Neuro-Oncology Lab). In her thesis, Paula plans to use magnetic resonance imaging to assess neural capacity and functional recovery in the setting of injury; specifically, the ability of the brain to recover/remodel in long-term glioblastoma multiforme (brain tumor) patients. (09/01/2014 - 08/31/2016).
  • James S. McDonnell Foundation: “The ENDURES Study: Environmental Dynamics Underlying Responsive Extreme Survivors of Glioblastoma” (PI: Kristin Swanson, PhD; Collaborating-PI: Lei Wang) - Tumor biologists and clinical oncologists are searching for new ways of developing and testing treatment approaches that consider cancer in the context of its environment. Borrowing concepts from ecosystems science and mathematical biology, researchers are investigating the dynamic and adaptive changes that make tumors less susceptible or resistant to mainline therapies and more invasive and aggressive upon recurrence. The collaborative activity proposal submitted by Swanson and collaborators will study extreme long-term survivors of Glioblastoma Multiforma (GBM) to characterize treatment responses and the causes of disease progression. An expanded use of imagederived cancer dynamics could reveal environmental contributions to long-term survival. Extreme long-term survivors are typically patients surviving five years or more beyond initial diagnosis and treatment. The team will also collect data on the GBM microenvironment, interactions between the tumor and the rest of the body and the role of other environmental influences. As stated in the proposal “…current approaches are akin to trying to understand the germination of a seed by looking at its genetic profile but ignoring the impact of the surrounding environment.” (09/01/2014 - 08/31/2017).

Details:
Our lab’s role is to examine brain plasticity and its role in predicting quality of life as well as survival. The major goals of overall study are to identify driving features underlying extreme survivorship (> 5 years) of glioblastoma by bridging and integration of human imaging data, histology, molecular and clinical data.