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Research in Neuro-Oncology

Research in the Department of Neuro-Oncology focuses on extending our understanding of the genetic abnormalities and molecular events responsible for the development, progression and spread of brain tumors. By translating laboratory findings into new treatments, we can offer more effective therapies and improve survival rates and quality of life for brain tumor patients.

The Section of Experimental Neuro-Oncology has assembled researchers recognized for their expertise in many of the areas implicated in brain tumor development and progression. These researchers collaborate closely with physician-scientists to integrate clinical observations and laboratory discoveries into treatment innovations.

In the Section of Clinical Neuro-Oncology many of the faculty members who treat patients with brain tumors also conduct laboratory research. They use knowledge gained in the laboratory to develop innovative therapies for brain tumors and treat the neurologic effects of cancer. In addition, our team of neuropsychologists investigate and treat the neurocognitive effects of cancer and its treatments.

Most of the financial support for the numerous faculty members engaged in laboratory research comes from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through federally funded and monitored P01, U19 and R01 grants.

Brain Cancer SPORE

Neuro-Oncology faculty members participate in a federally-funded Brain Cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) that reflects a robust translational research program. The program is designed to bring laboratory findings quickly to clinical application and understand responses in the clinical setting at the molecular and cellular level, so that treatments may be refined and made more effective.

The Brain Cancer SPORE emphasizes innovative brain tumor treatments that rationally combine agents to target known tumor cell mutations. Judgment of the effectiveness of treatments is based on tumor diagnosis and molecular changes within the tumor cell. Improvements in molecular diagnosis will allow treatment choices to be based on unique molecular profiles. It will also allow patients to receive the therapy most likely to benefit them and permit early evaluation of response to targeted treatment.

As one of only a few cancer centers in the nation to house such a prestigious award, we are able to offer unique and advanced clinical trials. We conduct over 20 clinical trials per year, most of which are supported by NCI grants as well as contracts with pharmaceutical companies. All trials are conducted according to stringent controls to ensure patient safety while improving survival and quality of life.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center