Microglia in Gemistocytic Astrocytomas

3-month studentship at Mayo Clinic July-September 2004


Investigators: Prof Manuel Graeber, Prof Scheithauer, Fatemeh Geranmeyeh (student)

Lay summary: We have investigated the relationship between the number of tumour cells in gemistocytic astrocytomas (a specific form of brain tumour) and microglial cells (the brain’s defence cells). Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of tumour growth were examined. We found that gemistocytic tumour cells express molecules usually only made by microglia in the brain and in some other immune cells. By virtue of this mechanism the tumour cells may evade the immune response. We are aiming to carry out more research into this important medical problem and we are also planning to use microglial cells as a vehicle for delivering therapeutic agents directly into brain tumours.