Virginia Tech researcher’s 3D model of brain tumor environment could aid personalized treatment
Category: research Video duration: Virginia Tech researcher’s 3D model of brain tumor environment could aid personalized treatment
Jennifer Munson and her research team’s model of the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment could help with understanding why the cancer is so resistant to treatment and so often returns after surgery.
So in my laboratory we study the role of the tumor micro-environment, or essentially all of the cells and physical forces and chemicals that are there that aren't part of the actual tumor itself. So this includes in the brain, we're really looking at all the cells of the brain that surround the tumor and how they can actually affect the tumor progression. We're trying to help patients with glioblastoma, which is a grade for glioma, it is a highly deadly cancer. And the reason that it is so deadly is that it invades into the surrounding brain and that makes it incredibly difficult to treat with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. So using human cells are able to actually create a 3D tissue engineered model of each patient's tumor. And our hope with this is that we can put this into a clinical practice and that we're able to actually create these tissues in a dish. Are these tumors in a dish? And then treat them with different therapies and then know and help oncologists actually determine which therapy would work best for which patient. So our current methods to really personalize therapy are not very quick and can be very cumbersome or costly. And so this technology actually will allow us to more rapidly determine a patient's particular response to treatment. As well as do it in a way where we can look at more treatments more broadly because the cost is very effective.