MSI PI Clark Chen (professor and head, Neurosurgery) is a co-author on a recent paper that studied how the brain cancer glioblastoma becomes resistant to radiation therapy. While radiation is the standard for glioblastoma, the treatment rarely cures the disease, and the tumor usually starts growing again after a period where it is stopped.
The researchers discovered that a microRNA called miR-603 is jettisoned by the glioblastoma cells after being treated with radiation. This causes the tumor cells to begin creating more of the proteins that protect against radiation. The researchers found that introducing more miR-603 into the cells overwhelms their ability to get rid of them, thereby increasing their susceptibility to radiation.
An article about this research appears on the Medical School website: University of Minnesota Researchers Study Radiation Resistance in Brain Cancer Cells. The paper can be found on the EBioMedicine website: Radiation-Induced Extracellular Vesicle (EV) Releast of miR-603 Promotes IGF1-Mediated Stem Cell State in Glioblastomas.
Professor Chen uses MSI for a project to determine if there are gene signatures associated with glioblastoma survival.