Scientific Programs

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Patient-Derived Xenograft (PDX) Program

We have established a comprehensive xenograft glioma program. Samples are obtained from patient surgeries and are used to develop engrafted tumors in the brains of immunocompromised mice. They are also used for the establishment of primary cultures. The availability of PDX models will provide a state-of-the-art tool for the evaluation of novel therapies and discoveries. We anticipate that the varied use of these models by clinicians and scientists at MSK will pave the way for better understanding and important advances in evaluation, stratification, prognosis, and therapies.

The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Initiative at the MSK Brain Tumor Center is focused on understanding the development and progression of glioblastoma and harnessing that knowledge to create new and better treatments. Funded by a generous five-year gift from the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Family Foundation, the Initiative will spearhead the development of rational, quantitative analysis of current and novel GBM therapies. It will provide resources to expand and maintain patient-derived xenograft models of glioblastoma, provide genomic sequencing and analysis of samples, and fund the pre-clinical evaluation of new drugs as well as those previously approved by the FDA for other conditions.

Glioma Primary Cell Cultures Program

We have established a primary cell line program.

Genetically Engineered Mouse Models (GEMMs)

We will maintain several genetically engineered mouse models that develop glioblastoma spontaneously. These will allow investigations into the origin and early phases of tumor development that cannot ideally be studied in patients or PDX models, as well as comparative evaluation in preclinical studies.

Clinical Brain Tumor Database and Biospecimen Bank

Establishing a brain tumor tissue and biospecimen bank paired with a fully annotated, customized clinical database is the backbone of much of our current and future work. This dataset is invaluable for driving translational research and laying the groundwork for personalized, targeted therapy of brain tumors stratified by subtypes.