Mechanisms of malignant transformation of astrocytic brain tumours

Understanding the changes of tumour infiltrating microglia upon exposure to steroids

1-year study July 2007-June 2008 funding post-doctoral fellow and research technician (completed)


Investigators: Federico Roncaroli, Federico Turkheimer, Emilie Croisier, Karolina Janczar, Bob Homapour, Sally Davidson, Poonam Singh, Monika Hayrapet, Kevin O’Neill, James van Dellen

Lay summary: In this project we aim to understand the mechanism of malignant transformation to identify the early malignant changes and devise a treatment that may stop this process.  Our hypothesis is that the interaction between brain tissue and tumour cells plays a key role in promoting malignant transformation. In particular, we think that a type of cells present in normal brain that are called microglia cells are influenced by astrocytoma cells to act in support of, rather than against, tumour growth. In other words, we think that microglial cells supply substances that favour invasion and multiplication of tumour cells. Previous studies from our group seem to substantiate this hypothesis.