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BTP Quarterly Update

September 2020

The mission of the University of Minnesota Brain Tumor Program (UMBTP) is to continually distinguish itself as a national leader in the field of neuro-oncology by combining the principles of outstanding clinical care and education with cutting edge research.

The group consists of many dedicated researchers and clinicians of numerous disciplines and specialties. These disciplines and specialties include - but are not limited to - cancer genetics, neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, and veterinary medicine. 

Here's what we've been up to for the last few months:
Michael Olin is the Angel Award winner
Michael Olin was awarded the Angel Award at the Randy Shaver Virtual Rush to the Cure Gala on August 23, 2020.
Elizabeth Neil and Michael Olin were featured speakers at the 17th Annual Humor to Fight the Tumor Gala on September 10, 2020.
David Largaespada and Christopher Moertel were featured in the article "Nothing Nonsensical about Nonsense Mutations: GTI Researchers Target One of the Most Common Types of NF1 Disease-Causing Genetic Mutations" on the Gilbert Family Foundation website, August 17, 2020.
Joseline Haizel-Cobbina
Joseline Haizel-Cobbina's article "Childhood Cancers: Minority Children Are Doing Worse" was featured in MinnPost, August 24, 2020.
Liz Fedie in front of the Hormel Institute
Elizabeth Fedie was featured, and David Largaespada and the Brain Tumor Program were highlighted, in the article "HI’s New Chief of Staff Looking to Help Build the Institute to Even Loftier Heights" in the Austin Daily Herald, July 15, 2020.


David Largaespada was on the panel for "Commercializing Your Cancer Discovery," hosted by the Cancer Research Translational Initiative, June 25, 2020.


G. Elizabeth Pluhar and Michael Olin have received a U01 Grant for the project "Novel Combined Immunotherapeutic Strategies for Glioma: Using Pet Dogs as a Large Animal Spontaneous Model."

David Largaespada has received an R01 Grant for the project "Uncovering Treatment Targets for Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Progression in NF1."

Logan Spector has received an R01 Grant for the project "Admixture Analysis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in African American Children: the ADMIRAL Study."

Timothy Hallstrom has received a CCRF Award in Pediatric Cancer Research for the project "Mechanisms to Rapidly Recruit Immune Cells to Pediatric Reinoblastoma."

Michael Olin and Christopher Moertel received a CCRF Award in Pediatric Cancer Research for the project "Translation of a Novel Checkpoint Inhibitor for Immunotherapy against childhood Central Nervous System Tumors."


2020EX108 - Single Patient Use of Veliparib as an Add-On Therapy to Temozolomide (TMZ) for the Treatment of Recurrent Glioblastoma


Parisian A, Koga T, Miki S, Johann PD, Kool M, Crawford JR, Furnari FB. "SMARCB1 Loss Interacts with Neuronal Differentiation State to Block Maturation and Impact Cell Stability." Genes Dev. In Press.

He Y, Li J, Koga T, Ma J, Dhawan S, Suzuki Y, Furnari FB, Prabhu VV, Allen JE, Chen CC. "Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) as a Molecular Determinant of Glioblastoma Response to Dopamine Receptor 2 (DRD2) Inhibitors." Neuro Oncol. In Press.

Williams LA#, Hubbard AK#, Scheurer ME, Spector LG, Poynter JN. "International Trends in Pediatric Brain Tumor Incidence by Age Group from 1988-2012." International Journal of Epidemiology. In Press. Accepted August 2020. #Co-first authors.

Özütemiz C, Neil EC, Tanwar M, Rubin NT, Ozturk K, Cayci Z. "The Role of Dual-Phase FDG PET/CT in the Diagnosis and Follow-Up of Brain Tumors." AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 Aug 25:1-12. doi: 10.2214/AJR.19.22571. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32841063.

Chaney KE, Perrino MR, Kershner LJ, Patel AV, Wu J, Choi K, Rizvi TA, Dombi E, Szabo S, Largaespada DA, Ratner N. "Cdkn2a Loss in a Model of Neurofibroma Demonstrates Stepwise Tumor Progression to Atypical Neurofibroma and MPNST." Cancer Res. 2020 Aug 19:canres.1429.2019. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-1429. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32816910.

Nottingham SL, Kasamatsu TM, Eberman LE, Neil ER, Welch Bacon CE. "Aspects of Technology That Influence Athletic Trainers' Current Patient Care Documentation Strategies in the Secondary School." J Athl Train. 2020 Aug 1;55(8):780-788. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-405-19. PMID: 32688388.

Boull CL, Gardeen S, Abdali T, Li E, Potts J, Rubin N, Carlberg VM, Gupta D, Hunt R, Luu M, Maguiness SM, Moertel CL, Song H, Vivar KL, Coughlin C, Huang JT, Lara-Corrales I. "Cutaneous Reactions in Children Treated with MEK Inhibitors, BRAF Inhibitors, or Combination Therapy: A Multi-Center Study." J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 Jul 16:S0190-9622(20)32213-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.07.044. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32682884.

Koga T, Chen CC, Furnari FB. "Genome Engineering Evolves Brain Tumor Modeling." Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2020 Jul 15;60(7):329-336. doi: 10.2176/nmc.ra.2020-0091. PMID: 32536682; PMCID: PMC7358782.

Nelson AC, Turbyville TJ, Dharmaiah S, Rigby M, Yang R, Wang TY, Columbus J, Stephens R, Taylor T, Sciacca D, Onsongo G, Sarver A, Subramanian S, Nissley DV, Simanshu DK, Lou E. "RAS Internal Tandem Duplication Disrupts GTPase-Activating Protein (GAP) Binding to Activate Oncogenic Signaling." J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 10;295(28):9335-9348. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.011080. PMID: 32393580; PMCID: PMC7363148.

Zaid M, Koay EJ, Bajaj N, Mathew R, Xiao L, Agrawal A, Fernandes P, Burrows H, Roach MA, Wilke CT, Chung C, Fuller CD, Phan J, Gunn GB, Morrison WH, Garden AS, Frank SJ, Rosenthal DI, Andersen M, Otun A, Chambers MS. "A Prospective Parallel Design Study Testing Non-Inferiority of Customized Oral Stents Made Using 3D Printing or Manually Fabricated Methods." Oral Oncol. 2020 Jul;106:104665. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2020.104665. PMID: 32298994; PMCID: PMC7350149.

van Tellingen O, de Gooijer MC, Sarkaria JN, Elmquist WF. "Comments on: 'Synergistic Activity of mTORC1/2 Kinase and MEK Inhibitors Suppresses Pediatric Low-Grade Glioma Tumorigenicity and Vascularity'." Neuro Oncol. 2020 Jun 18:noaa112. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noaa112. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32556220.

Grossman SA, Romo CG, Rudek MA, Supko J, Fisher J, Nabors LB, Wen PY, Peereboom DM, Ellingson BM, Elmquist W, Barker FG, Kamson D, Sarkaria JN, Timmer W, Bindra RS, Ye X; Adult Brain Tumor Consortium. "Baseline Requirements for Novel Agents Being Considered for Phase II/III Brain Cancer Efficacy Trials:Conclusions from the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium's First Workshop on CNS Drug Delivery." Neuro Oncol. 2020 Jun 7:noaa142. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noaa142. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32506123.

Qin Y, Musket A, Kou J, Preiszner J, Tschida BR, Qin A, Land CA, Staal B, Kang L, Tanner K, Jiang Y, Schweitzer JB, Largaespada DA, Xie Q. "Overexpression of HGF/MET Axis along with p53 Inhibition Induces De Novo Glioma Formation in Mice." Neurooncol Adv. 2020 Jun 4;2(1):vdaa067. doi: 10.1093/noajnl/vdaa067. PMID: 32642717; PMCID: PMC7332240.

Past Events

July 9 - BTP Seminar Series, Florina Grigore
Aug. 13 - BTP Seminar Series, Lindsey Sloan
Sep. 10 - BTP Seminar Series, Jianfang Ning

Upcoming Events

Sep 26, 9:00 AM - BT5K Kick-Off Event
Oct. 8 - BTP Seminar Series, Ming Li
Oct 10, 5:00 PM - BT5K Celebration
Nov. 12 - BTP Seminar Series, Pavlina Sverak
Dec. 10 - BTP Seminar Series, Andrew Venteicher


Join the Brain Tumor Program's BT5K Team:
  • This will be our team's 6th year participating in this event
  • Walk, run, bike, or even rollerblade your own 5K. It’s your choice!
  • Participate for a great cause
  • This will be a fully virtual event; record your participation with the BT5K app
  • Compete between Sep 26-Oct 10
  • Can't make it, donate to our team instead!
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