Sara Ranjbar, PhD awarded Edward C. Kendall Mayo Clinic Alumni Award for Meritorious Research

Congratulations Sara on being the 2021 recipient of the Edward C. Kendall Mayo Clinic Alumni Award for Meritorious Research!!!!!

Presented annually, the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Edward C. Kendall Alumni Award for Meritorious Research is awarded in recognition of outstanding research conducted by an individual whose primary appointment is in research. Recipients receive an award of $2,000 and a certificate of accomplishment from the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association.

We are so very proud of you!!!

New NCI PSOC U01 Funded

Excited to finally announce our new funding of the NCI U01 grant CA25048 entitled: “Image-based models of tumor-immune dynamics in glioblastoma”

Contact MPI: Kristin Swanson
MPI: Leland Hu, MD (Radiology, Mayo Clinic)
MPI: Peter Canoll, MD, PhD (Director of Neuropathology, Columbia Univ)

This $3.8M award will support our ability to resolve the dynamics of the human immune system within the glioblastoma microenvironment during the course of a patients’ care.

Abstract: Our inability to explain why some patients do not respond to immunotherapy, combined with our inability to
predict the responders, poses a serious challenge to advancing cancer care and research. Currently, biopsies
serve as the most informative way to assess the immunological activity within a cancerous area, but we are
spatially and temporally limited in the number of biopsies we can obtain from patients, especially in cases of
brain cancer. We propose here a novel strategy merging artificial intelligence and mechanistic modeling to
reveal the spatial and temporal tumor-immune landscape within patients by connecting a unique resource of
image-localized biopsies and clinical imaging for cohorts treated with standard and immunotherapies.

Lab Presents Posters at the Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting

The Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting was held virtually this year and our lab presented two posters:

Mathematical Oncology Blogpost – Thriving and Evolving During the Pandemic, by Andrea Hawkins-Daarud

Thanks to Covid-19, many of us have found ourselves working from home. Indeed as a lab, we have had to adjust to this new setup. Andrea Hawkins-Daarud (one of our Associate Directors) has recently published a mathematical oncology blogpost, outlining the ways in which we’ve shifted our work style in response to the pandemic. Check out the link below!

Thriving and Evolving During the Pandemic

Lab to Present 16 Abstracts at the Annual Society for NeuroOncology Meeting

Our lab members and collaborators are presenting 14 abstracts at the Annual Society for NeuroOncology Meeting (click on title for abstract):

Lab Open House During The Annual Society for NeuroOncology Meeting

Come join us for snacks and drinks at a reception to hear about the Comprehensive NeuroOncology Program at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix including:
• Scientific Updates from Mayo Faculty – including a poster session
• Tour of the Cancer Center and Proton Beam
• Hosted in the Precision Neurotherapeutics Lab.
Bus pick up at the SNO conference venue JW Marriott Desert Ridge at 5:15pm.

Our latest paper exploring the role of differential blood-brain barrier permeability and therapeutic sensitivity in glioblastoma treatment response is up on bioRxiv

When a drug fails, often a mismatch between drug and target is blamed, and in brain tumors, there is also a possibility of insufficient amounts of drug being delivered to all of the brain tumor. In dense tumor regions, there is a break down of the blood-brain barrier due to tumor angiogenesis, which may allow drugs to enter the tumor. However, this does not occur in the outer regions of tumor where smaller numbers of tumor cells invade and spread outward, potentially leaving a large portion of tumor undertreated. To explore these dynamics, MNO lab postdoc Susan Massey and recent ASU graduate Javi Urcuyo developed an ordinary differential equation model based on experimental data from our Mayo Clinic colleague Jann Sarkaria’s Translational Neuro-Oncology lab. Our model shows how overall exposure to treatment may be more influential than therapeutic resistance in determining the therapeutic outcome.

S. C. Massey, J. C. Urcuyo, B. M. Marin, J. N. Sarkaria, K. R. Swanson. Quantifying glioblastoma drug response dynamics incorporating resistance and blood brain barrier penetrance from experimental data. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, in review. BioRxiv doi: 10.1101/822585