In follow up to the Biomarker Workshop, the Mayo-Illinois Alliance has awarded funding to these collaborative research proposals:
Chip-Based Engineered Tumor Microenvironments for Glioma Therapy
Research Team: Brendan Harley (UI), Daniel Ma (MC), Jann Sarkaria (MC)
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a common and aggressive form of brain cancer with poor clinical prognosis. In vivo models and pathology metrics are commonly used to develop and assess new treatment strategies, but are complex, expensive, and cannot be used to optimize patient-specific therapies. We are developing a scalable biomaterial tool that will facilitate rapid in vitro assessment of biopsy-derived cells (not cell lines) response to inhibitor cocktails.
Moving Toward Model Systems for Cancer Therapeutic Biomarker Testing
Research Team: Irina Kovtun (MC), Farhad Kosari (MC), R. Jeffrey Karnes (MC), John Cheville (MC), Gregory Underhill (UI), Hyunjoon Kong (UI), Taher Saif (UI), Brendan Harley (UI)
Identification of the best individualized treatment options for most tumors especially in patients with advanced disease is often limited because of the lack of appropriate tumor models. Generation of mouse models which are often the system of choice, remain costly and lengthy. The goal of this work is to develop 2-D and 3-D culture systems which recapitulate specific tumor context and allow simultaneous testing of tens of drugs and their combinations. We will test this approach using prostate and lung tumor cells and biomarkers we have recently identified in these cancers. Achieving these goals will require synergistic collaboration between Mayo and Illinois. Mayo investigators will provide, clinical and biological expertise as well as tumor cells of interest, and UI investigators will provide expertise in biomimetic culture systems.
Novel Biomarkers and Point-of-Care Methods for Latent Tuberculosis Infection
Research Team: Patricio Escalante (MC), Yi Lu (UI), Ryan Bailey (UI), Rashid Bashir (UI)
Accurate detection of the latent form of tuberculosis (TB) infection remains a major clinical and public health problem worldwide. During this project, a team of investigators from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Mayo Clinic will develop and test novel and state-of-the-art point-of-care methods to accurately detect and stratify latent TB infection. This study has the potential to provide new diagnostic tools to identify specific immune biomarkers of latent TB with a high likelihood to progress to active tuberculosis, enabling clinicians to improve the management of TB in resource-limited settings.
Translational Molecular Imaging Technologies for Quantitative Prostate Tumor Pathology
Research Team: John Cheville (MC), R. Jeffrey Karnes (MC), Stephen Murphy (MC), Rohit Bhargava (UI), Andrew Smith (UI)
Approximately 240,000 men in the US are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year; most men diagnosed today have low-risk tumors, where the most appropriate care may not be aggressive therapy. However, we do not have a specific diagnostic assay that can identify low-risk prostate cancers from aggressive tumors. In the absence of this diagnostic capability, patients with low-risk cancers are often given costly and unnecessarily harmful treatments. This project aims to develop a robust clinical test based on quantum dot genome profiling technologies to assay copy number variations and rearrangements in a biomarker panel of five genes with prognostic significance in prostate cancer. To develop this assay, the Mayo Clinic’s expertise in the field of biomarker discovery will be joined with the state-of-the-art biomarker detection technologies at the University of Illinois.