Despite maximal currently available therapy, malignant brain tumors such as glioblastoma are almost uniformly fatal. We plan to form a brain tumor center with """"""""Molecular targeting of therapy for nervous system tumors"""""""" as its central theme. Our overall objective is to develop a comprehensive center for basic research and innovative clinical care aimed at understanding the molecular events associated with tumorigenesis in the human nervous system and using this information to develop and to test novel therapeutic strategies. The development of The Georgetown Brain Tumor Center is strongly supported by the administration and links two major developmental goals: cancer and the neurosciences. Further it builds upon current strengths already at Georgetown, such as the Lombardi Cancer Research Center. Plans for administration, faculty recruitment, training, and new program development are detailed. A research program is presented which is focused on defining the molecular and biologic differences between tumor cells and their normal nervous system counterparts with particular attention toward molecular changes associated with radiosensitivity, angiogenesis, growth, and the protein kinase C system. This information will be used to devise molecular-based strategies of therapy which include both new pharmaceutical approaches as well as novel approaches such as the development and testing of viral vectors. Four research projects are planned: 1) """"""""Development of genetically engineered viruses to treat malignant nervous system tumors""""""""; 2) """"""""Molecular mechanisms of radiation resistance of malignant gliomas""""""""; 3) """"""""Regulation of growth and differentiation of malignant pediatric and adult brain tumors by protein kinase C""""""""; 4) """"""""Angiogenesis induced by nervous system tumors: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic blockade"""""""". Thus, we are developing a comprehensive center for clinical care, training, basic research and novel therapeutic development and testing in order to improve the treatment of people with brain tumors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Georgetown University
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