January 22, 2020 5:00 AM

Turning the Tables on Glioblastoma

In the lab, Michigan Medicine researchers are developing new approaches to tackling this deadly type of brain cancer.


Researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center are working to better understand and treat brain cancer.

One of the most pernicious types of brain cancer is glioblastoma, which claimed the lives of senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. Even with the best current treatments, patients who live more than a year and half after diagnosis are counted among the lucky ones.

LISTEN UP: Add the new Michigan Medicine News Break to your Alexa-enabled device, or subscribe to our daily updates on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

Several research labs at the Rogel Cancer Center are actively pursuing new efforts to extend and to improve the lives of patients with this deadly disease.

The lab of Maria G. Castro, Ph.D. and Pedro R. Lowenstein, M.D., Ph.D. — both professors of neurosurgery and cell and developmental biology at Michigan Medicine — is optimistic about initial results from a clinical trial stemming from their laboratory research, which uses gene therapy to attack tumors while also enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight them.

Meanwhile the lab of Daniel Wahl, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of radiation oncology, is interested in how abnormal metabolism in these tumors makes them resistant to treatment with radiation. The lab is exploring different treatment combinations to overcome this resistance.

MORE FROM MICHIGAN: Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Learn more about brain cancer research across Michigan Medicine.

On Twitter: follow Castro at @castro2355_mg and Wahl at @DanWahlMD.