Dr. Charles Cobbs, The Gregory Foltz Endowed Director of the Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish Neuroscience Institute Awarded $50,000 grant by The Musella Foundation

 

Charles S. Cobbs, MD

The Gregory Foltz, MD Endowed Director
Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for
Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment
Swedish Neuroscience Specialists

 
I am very excited to announce that my research group has been awarded a research grant from The Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information, Inc., which will allow us to develop a state of the art reference laboratory for the detection of viral infections in brain tumors. www.virtualtrials.com/newsarticle.cfm?item=5725

My research group over the last decade has been very interested in the role of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in glioblastoma. CMV is a member of the herpes virus family, and we and others have found that CMV infection is present in a very high percentage of glioblastoma cases, as well as in some other brain tumors including medulloblastoma. We are initiating a phase I clinical trial within the next year, hopefully, that will be the first US trial to treat patients with an antiviral drug for glioblastoma. My colleagues in Stockholm Sweden have treated patients with valganciclovir (Valcyte), which is an antiviral drug for CMV. Their preliminary data, which needs confirmation by other groups, suggests that Valcyte may provide significant improvement in overall survival with limited toxicity for patients with glioblastoma.

As noted in a previous blog (http://www.braincancer.org/blog/2014/03/31/valcyte-and-cytomegalovirus-cmv-in-the-treatment-of-glioblastoma/ ), this is a  groundbreaking area.  We hope to provide some clarity to this area and to increase the understanding of the role of CMV infection, and potentially infection with other viruses such as HPV, JC virus, and HHV-6 in glioblastoma. To accomplish this, my group will attempt to use The Musella Foundation funds to develop standardized protocols that can be performed on a highly sophisticated robotic immunostaining machine. Should we accomplish this task, then anyone could replicate our technique by using the identical programming of this machine and using the same reagents. Hopefully this could allow for standardized results that could be utilized throughout the world to eliminate some of the confusion surrounding this area of research. Again, without the kind influence of The Musella Foundation, work like this would be impossible to perform. Hopefully this work will move the field forward and allow us to have a clear understanding of the role of CMV and other viruses in glioblastoma and also accelerate our attempts at treating these tumors with novel treatments such as antiviral drugs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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