Primary interests are 1) Genetics and Biology of Gliomas: Indentifcation of genetic and biological markers of tumor type to aid in better diagnosis and more accurate prognosis of gliomas, and use of biolgical markers to distinguish between recurrent tumor and reactive gliosis. Current research includes subclassification of gliomas using developmentally regulated antigens GFAP, A2B5, O4, Gal-C, Fibronectin, neurofilament 160 kD, and Vimentin, and use of gene chip technology to better define gene expression in gliomas. 2) Meningiomas: Studies underway include a medical history study of 200 female meningioma patients from BWH, which reveals that women with transitional and fibroblastic meningiomas have a larger number if conditions indicative of high systemic estrogen then patients with other types of meningiomas. A second collaborative questionnaire study of over 350 women in 42 states and 12 foreign countries is in progress. Preliminary analysis suggests that there may be environmental factors associated with meningioma growth. A third study seeks to correlate expression of estrogen and progestrone receptor status in the meningiomas of the 200 paitients included in the medical history study, in order to determine the specific role of these receptors in tumor growht. 3) Translational research in brain tumors: It is our goal to study and characterize the effects of signal transduction molecules that normally control the growth and differentiation of specific types of cells in the CNS, and to bring these agents to clinical trial. Agents being brought to Phase I clinical trials include the gangioside GM3, retinoic acid, adeno-assciated virally delivered angiostatin and endostatin. 4) Imaging technology: Several novel imaging technologies have been developed at BWH, which allow for improved resection of brain tumors. These inlcude the world's first intraoperative MRI, which allows real-time udpated images during the surgical procedure, 3-D reconstruction of anatomical structures from standard imaging studies, which allows for accurate surgical planning and projection of images onto the surgical field for improved resection, and funcational brain mapping to aid in avoiding functional deficits due to surgery.
Lab url: http://blacklab.bwh.harvard.edu/