UC Brain Tumor Center hosts Clinical Research Retreat

The University of Cincinnati Brain Tumor Center (BTC) held its second annual Clinical Research Retreat on September 30th.

The virtual event, hosted by Soma Sengupta MD, PhD, FRCP, Associate Director of BTC, in collaboration with Director Mario Zuccarello, MD, and Associate Director David Plas, PhD, brought together researchers from across the country to review advances in of neuro-oncology to discuss clinical research. This was the first year the retreat was a CME event.

“It encourages collaboration in clinical trials and research and ultimately benefits patients and their families,” said Sengupta, associate professor of neurology, director of clinical trials in neuro-oncology and neuro-oncologist at UC Health, who is funded by the Harold C. Schott Endowed Chair in Molecular Therapeutics (neurosurgery) and the Pam and Tom Mischell Funds.

The event included presentations by researchers representing 10 institutions from across the country.

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Presentations from UC researchers included Kyle Wang, MD, on a multi-agency study exploring radiation necrosis in the age of immunotherapy; Norberto Andaluz, MD, on strategies for hearing preservation in acoustic neuroma surgery; Lalanthica Yogendran, MD, on much-needed work in advance planning of care and expanded instruction in patients with glioblastoma; and Sengupta on the ARC of the Glioblastoma Collaboration.

Richard T. Graham, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, spoke about targeted molecular therapy for high-grade pediatric tumors with fusions.

Presentations by Ohio State University researchers included Clement Pillainayagam, MD, and his team on new advances and treatment pathways for patients with Von Hippel-Lindau disease; and Joshua Palmer, MD, on different radiation approaches and strategies to improve quality of life and cognition in patients with brain metastases.

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Vidya Gopalakrishnan, PhD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, presented a novel therapy her group recently discovered for patients with diffuse midline glioma.

Jonathan H. Sherman, MD, FAANS, FACS, of West Virginia University, spoke about virtual reality’s patient-centric approach and demonstrated pre- and postoperative changes in patients undergoing brain tumor surgery.

Cleveland Clinic presentations included Juyeun Lee, PhD, DVM, on gender differences in glioblastoma immune responses and possibilities for more effective combination immunotherapies; and David Peereboom, MD, on the landscape of neuro-oncology studies and potential potential collaborations with other institutions. Sengupta said UC’s neuro-oncology team will be collaborating with researchers at the Cleveland Clinic on a study of recurrent meningiomas.

Mahua Dey, MD, from the University of Wisconsin, presented data on radiation-treated brain metastases and the molecular signaling pathways involved after radiation. Costas Arvanitis, PhD, from Georgia Tech, spoke about focused ultrasound technology in glioblastoma.

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Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and Saint John’s Cancer Institute, discussed personalized medicine for brain cancer, the landscape of targeted drugs in primary tumors, and the path researchers should take going forward.

Josh Neman-Ebrahim, PhD, a researcher at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, spoke about breast-brain metastasis and breast cancer brain fog, and Frances Chow, MD, of USC, presented an upcoming clinical trial and development neuro-oncology drugs through the NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program.

Sengupta said there are plans to combine the Clinical Research Retreat with the Schott Chair Lecture next year to create a major one-day event in 2023.

Featured photo above of glioblastoma cells in culture courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.

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