Thursday October 23, 2014   
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Research Grants

Evaluating the Impact of Microenvironmental Elasticity on the Stem Cell Phenotype in Malignant Glioma

Understanding the multifaceted role of TNF-alpha in brain tumors.
Ilan Volovitz at the The Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center

Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) is a pivotal cytokine involved in both inflammation and immune regulation. It is an important promoting factor in many autoimmune diseases and its inhibition is the first line of treatment for many of these diseases. Conflicting results demonstrate TNFα to be both a potent tumor promoter and a suppressor of tumor growth under seemingly similar conditions. Using high-resolution multicolor flow cytometric tools, Ilan and his team intend to follow, on the single cell level, all major tumor and stromal cellular components and to understand how these components interact vis a vis their use of TNFα. The correct identification of the relevant cell subsets as well as the ability to concurrently follow their function will enable them to correctly dissect, for the first time, the effects of this pivotal cytokine, the factors modulating its secretion, and the factors modulating its effects. Better understanding of the pathways leading to TNFα-mediated tumor inhibition versus tumor promotion will enable better manipulation of these effects towards an inhibitive or a cytotoxic direction. Owing to the variety of approved therapeutic agents against TNFα or its receptors, if successful, the fruits of this project would be swiftly translated to a clinical trial.

 

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