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Cancer remains a leading cause of death and in particular, glioblastoma has an extremely poor prognosis (median survival of 15 months with a standard of care therapy). As we learn more about the tumorigenesis of brain cancers, we are seeing an interplay of many mechanisms including metabolism, developmental neurobiology, and stem cells.

Finding meaningful treatments requires additional understanding of these pathways and interactions, while simultaneously pursuing translational strategies from drug design to immunotherapy. In addition to gliomas, many other tumor types can cause significant morbidity, including skull base tumors. Our cancer program focuses on the following research areas:

  1. Development of patient-derived xenograft models for precision research
  2. Understanding the role of adenosine metabolism and the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) pathways in glioma tumorigenesis
  3. Exploring neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) biology and tumorigenesis

Pankaj Agarwalla, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Detlev Boison, PhD

Professor & Vice Chair of Research & Training, Department of Neurosurgery