Dr. Okay Saydam

Medical School
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
RNA Sequencing of Serum Derived EVs From Brain Tumor Patients

Glioblastoma is the most malignant form of cerebral gliomas and accounts for 17% of all primary brain tumors. Despite recent advances in the multimodal treatment of glioblastoma, the prognosis of it is still poor, with a median survival time of 12.1–14.6 months after diagnosis. Glioblastoma is mainly diagnosed through neuroimaging techniques (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT) scans) and tissue samples, but they all have limitations. Tissue biopsies require an invasive procedure and can only offer a snapshot of tumor evolution at a single time point. The invasiveness of the procedure confers high risks to patients, such as brain swelling or hemorrhages that could result in deregulation of the brain function. Additionally, repeated surgery and sampling in order to define the real molecular profile of the tumor progression is not always possible. Moreover, the lack of accessibility to some brain tumors hampers obtaining tissue samples. Imaging modalities are insufficient to distinguish true tumor progression from treatment artefacts that mimic progression; they are also expensive and time-consuming. These limitations point out to an unmet need for non-invasive, practical, and flexible approaches for clinical management of glioblastoma. Therefore, this project is directed towards to develop extracellular vesicle based glioblastoma tumor marker panel at the genetic level that can be used in the clinic for tracking of glioblastomas, and monitoring tumor burden and progression as well as regression of tumors in response to therapeutic treatments.

Project Investigators

Dr. Juan Abrahante Llorens
Elisabet Ampudia-Mesias
Dr. Christy Henzler
Dr. Okay Saydam
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