Luiz O.F. Penalva PhD to Receive ThriveWell Cancer Foundation, and IIMS / CTSA Grants

Grant Abstract:

Ionizing radiation remains the mainstay of therapy for glioblastoma (GBM). We have recently found that senescent GBM cells that typically occur upon radiation can promote tumor recurrence via a process called “senescence escape.” These cells acquire cancer stem cell (CSC) properties and later promote tumor recurrency. Thus, while radiotherapy controls tumor growth initially via induction of senescence in tumor cells, “senescence escape” could paradoxically contribute to recurrence.

We identified the RNA binding protein Musashi1 (Msi1) as a possible driver of senescence escape. We propose to investigate the mechanism employed by Msi1 to regulate this process and to evaluate if Msi1 inhibition could be used as a strategy to circumvent senescence escape.

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