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Research Programs

Clinical-based Research


Program Leadership

Tracy Batchelor, MD, MPH
Charles Stiles, PhD

Neuro-Oncology Program

The mission of the Neuro-Oncology Program is to gain insights into the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of malignant gliomas and to translate this knowledge into an improved standard of care.  The Program addresses most primary cancers of the brain including pediatric brain cancers such as medulloblastoma and in neurofibroma research. From a therapeutic perspective, the Program features a comprehensive portfolio of laboratory research in surgery, radiation biology, angiogenesis, tumor vaccines and oncolytic viruses.  The Program is supported by more than $10,000,000 (annual direct costs) in cancer-relevant peer reviewed funding.  Collaborative grants include four P01s, a U01, a training grant in Neuro-Oncology and a Training Grant in Molecular Imaging Research.

For the current funding interval of the DF/HCC core grant, the Program has identified high-grade glioma in adults as a target for special attention; molecular insights into the pathology of these tumors may be translated into improved diagnostic tools, prognostic indicators, and therapeutics.  Towards these ends, we have two specific aims:

  • To improve understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of malignant glioma and translate that knowledge into a new generation of biomarkers for assessing clinical outcome and therapeutic response
  • To search for molecular characteristics of high-grade human gliomas that correlate with and, possibly, predict therapeutic sensitivity to molecularly targeted agents

Future goals

The goal of this program is to improve the standard of care for patients with primary cancers of the central and peripheral nervous systems.  Towards this end, we hope to foster productive interactions with the population science and basic science communities of DF/HCC.

Value added

Participation in each of the two major consortia for brain tumor clinical trials (NABTT and NABTC).

Nodal point interactions with all three basic science programs of DF/HCC and with the Biostatistics Program.