The major goals of the Neuro-Oncology (NRO) Program are to understand the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the etiopathogenesis and progression of primary brain tumors and metastases to brain, and to use this knowledge to better manage patients with these malignancies; they belong to a high incidence/high mortality population in the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFBCCC) catchment area. The mission of the Program is to develop a comprehensive initiative that yields significant improvements in the management of patients with primary brain tumors and metastases to the brain. This will be achieved by the Program members? research around three aims: 1) cancer stem-like cells (mechanisms regulating participation of these cells in cancer initiation and progression, and those that are potential targets for therapeutics), 2) novel approaches to treatment (identifying new therapeutic strategies including those that lead to improved delivery of drugs to the CNS), and 3) clinical investigations (leverages the rich history of early phase clinical brain tumor research at the WFBCCC through long-standing participation in the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium (ABTC), other national brain tumor collaborations, as well as investigator-initiated trials). The research of the NRO Program focuses particularly on malignant gliomas, including glioblastoma, and breast and lung cancer brain metastases. More specifically, the Program?s Specific Aims are addressed as follows:
Aim 1 is to determine the role of cancer stem-like cells in tumor initiation and/or progression through studying signaling pathways and interactions with other cell types present in the tumor microenvironment and normal brain;
Aim 2 is to develop novel devices, techniques, drug candidates and therapeutic approaches for these difficult-to-treat cancers based on a variety of experimental platforms;
Aim 3 is to conduct innovative clinical interventions which will affect the course of the disease and the well-being of patients. The Program has 20 members from 12 different departments or sections. Annual extramural funding of program members was ~ $253,000 per member. Among the members' 53 publications, 34% were intra-programmatic, 32% were inter-programmatic, and 51% were inter-institutional, demonstrating the collaborative spirit and national and international stature of the Program?s research and investigators.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee H - Clinical Groups (NCI)
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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Park, Sun H; Keller, Evan T; Shiozawa, Yusuke (2018) Bone Marrow Microenvironment as a Regulator and Therapeutic Target for Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis. Calcif Tissue Int 102:152-162
Haas, Karen M; Johnson, Kristen L; Phipps, James P et al. (2018) CD22 Promotes B-1b Cell Responses to T Cell-Independent Type 2 Antigens. J Immunol 200:1671-1681
Suo, Xubin; Eldridge, Brittany N; Zhang, Han et al. (2018) P-Glycoprotein-Targeted Photothermal Therapy of Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells Using Antibody-Conjugated Carbon Nanotubes. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 10:33464-33473
Widner, D Brooke; Park, Sun H; Eber, Matthew R et al. (2018) Interactions Between Disseminated Tumor Cells and Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Regulate Tumor Dormancy. Curr Osteoporos Rep 16:596-602
Liu, Liang; Ruiz, Jimmy; O'Neill, Stacey S et al. (2018) Favorable outcome of patients with lung adenocarcinoma harboring POLE mutations and expressing high PD-L1. Mol Cancer 17:81
Sirkisoon, Sherona R; Carpenter, Richard L; Rimkus, Tadas et al. (2018) Interaction between STAT3 and GLI1/tGLI1 oncogenic transcription factors promotes the aggressiveness of triple-negative breast cancers and HER2-enriched breast cancer. Oncogene 37:2502-2514
Goyal, Amrita; Carter, Joi B; Pashtan, Itai et al. (2018) Very low-dose versus standard dose radiation therapy for indolent primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas: A retrospective study. J Am Acad Dermatol 78:408-410
Su, Weijun; Hong, Lixin; Xu, Xin et al. (2018) miR-30 disrupts senescence and promotes cancer by targeting both p16INK4A and DNA damage pathways. Oncogene 37:5618-5632
Miller Jr, David P; Denizard-Thompson, Nancy; Weaver, Kathryn E et al. (2018) Effect of a Digital Health Intervention on Receipt of Colorectal Cancer Screening in Vulnerable Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med 168:550-557
Rimkus, Tadas K; Carpenter, Richard L; Sirkisoon, Sherona et al. (2018) Truncated Glioma-Associated Oncogene Homolog 1 (tGLI1) Mediates Mesenchymal Glioblastoma via Transcriptional Activation of CD44. Cancer Res 78:2589-2600

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