Carnegie PhD Scholar awarded Robertson Medal 2023-24
Project Summary: Probing TGF-beta addiction in glioblastoma
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer in adults, with a devastating prognosis of 14-15 months survival post diagnosis. The current standard of care for GBM patients involves surgical resection followed by radiotherapy and Temozolimide (TMZ) chemotherapy, however this only extends patient survival by a few months. Treatment failure can be attributed in part to the highly invasive nature of GBM which prevents complete tumour resection and because of the existence of so-called tumour stem cells which are often drug resistant. Recent studies show that some GBM cell lines can be considered as potentially addicted to Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGFβ) as this factor can promote the growth, invasion and stem cell properties of GBM cells. This raises the possibility that agents which target this pathway may be of clinical benefit for GBM treatment. It is currently unknown what proportion of GBM samples require TGFβ signalling for efficient tumour growth and when and if targeting the pathway may be of use alongside current standard of care. In this project we will study the effects of inhibiting TGFβ signalling alone and in combination with TMZ treatment to begin to answer these questions.
In my four years of pre-clinical medicine, I had not yet encountered any laboratory work or research. The Carnegie Trust Scholarship has given me the opportunity to experience and practise being and working in a lab. It has also helped improve my understanding of basic science and how it fits in to the overall picture of medicine. It has given me a foundation of skills that I can continue to develop into the future and in my career.
Awarded: Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
Field: Medical Science
University: University of Dundee