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Innovations Discussed for Treatment of Deadly Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme

MindBrainBehaviorGroup2013
Clockwise: Alex Sisti with his father Dr. Sisti at the podium, Dr. Canoll, Dr. Sisti, & Dr. Sims lecturing at the MBBS event

Dr. Michael Sisti, along with two other Columbia University faculty members, spoke about innovations in the treatment of brain tumors last Friday at an event put on by the Mind, Brain, Behavior Society (MBBS).

MBBS is a newly formed group established by Alex Sisti, a Columbia medical student and the son of Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Sisti, and Jackie de Vegvar, a Columbia M.D.PhD student. The group’s mission is to provide a forum for discussing Columbia University’s interdisciplinary efforts in brain science including the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders, and traumatic brain injury.

The November 1, 2013 talks, hosted by Alexander Sisti, were on the subject of new genetic techniques for the treatment of the deadly brain tumors, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Alexander Sisti has given us a synopsis of each talk below:

Michael Sisti, MD from the Department of Neurosurgery discussed the current surgical management of GBM. He stressed the need for more research, as prognosis is very poor. In light of this, he told us about many current neurosurgical techniques (wafers, optic technology, CSF flow) that can be used to deliver next-generation drugs directly into a tumor.

Peter Canoll, MD, PhD from the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology gave an introduction to the pathological and general features of glioblastoma. He showed the classic radiological and histological findings in patients with GBM. He also mentioned recent work by the Cancer Genome Atlas Project to try and break down these heterogenous tumors into different subtypes based on the cells that gave rise to them.

Peter Sims, PhD from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics talked about the work his lab does to mathematically deconvolute brain tumor samples. He uses the relative abundance of gene markers for different cell types (neurons, astrocytes, olidodendrocytes) in order to figure out a tumor’s origin and composition. The hope is to be able to characterize the behavior of subtypes of GBM and to identify new drug targets for each type.

You can learn more about the MBBS at their website http://mindbrainbehavior.org/.

To learn more about Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Sisti, see his bio page here.

patient journey

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