Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD: Finding a Better Way

Years Funded: 2017-2020

RRV for Immunogenic Suicide Gene Therapy and Checkpoint Inhibition in Glioma
Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Brain Tumor Center are exploring how to use genetically engineered viruses (known as vectors) to infect cancer cells. Once inside the cells, “suicide genes” delivered by these vectors enable a chemotherapy drug to be generated inside the infected cancer cell itself, which also in turn activates the immune system to attack and destroy glioblastoma and other brain tumors with very few adverse side effects.

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Marco Gallo, PhD: Drilling Down into the DNA

Years Funded: 2017-2019

3D Genome Engineering to Target Brain Tumor Stem Cells
At the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine (Calgary, AB Canada), a research team led by Marco Gallo, PhD, used cutting edge technology to unravel the specific DNA architecture of GBM cancer stem cells and identify potential new treatment approaches.

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John Bell, PhD: Every Dollar Makes a Difference

Years Funded: 2014-2017

Novel Chimeric Oncolytic Virus for Brain Cancer Treatment
An ACGT-funded toxicity study helped John Bell, PhD, and David Stojdl, PhD, advance the identification and characterization of novel cancer-killing therapeutic viruses that selectively infect and kill glioblastoma brain cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells and tissues unharmed. The work brought them closer to the eventual clinical translation and commercialization of these potential therapies.

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Alexander H. Stegh, PhD: Understanding the Genetics Behind Brain Tumors

Years Funded: 2013-2015

Defining and Targeting IDH1-Dependent Metabolic Vulnerabilities in Glioblastoma
Alexander H. Stegh, PhD, and his team at the Northwestern University Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center (Chicago, IL) advanced important understanding of the role of the IDH1 gene enzyme in driving the progression and therapy resistance of glioblastoma. Now in early stage clinical trials, Dr. Stegh and colleagues are pursuing a unique treatment option that combines insight from Dr. Stegh’s genetic research with a novel nanotechnology drug delivery platform.

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Nabil Ahmed, MD: A Worthy Adversary for A Complex Killer

Years Funded: 2011-2014

Targeting Cancer Stem Cells in Glioblastoma
Nabil Ahmed, MD, and colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine Texas Children’s Cancer Center (Houston, TX) applied knowledge of how CAR T cells fight blood cancers to advance opportunities for effective T-cell-based gene therapies for glioblastoma. Their research led to promising applications for GBM and other solid tumors in the brain and beyond.

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