When you’re pounding the pavement, trying desperately to find new methods and avenues for battling rare cancers like brain cancer, it can be easy to just keep trying the same methods over and over and over again, expecting different results. It takes a unique mind-set to step outside that comfort zone and come at the problem from a new perspective.
But that’s exactly what Dr. Chris Hine and Dr. Justin Lathia have done. Coming from vastly different fields in the areas of medicine and engineering–yes engineering, these doctors decided to confront and tackle one of the rarest cancers of all–glioblastoma.
Dr. Christopher Hine is Assistant Staff in the Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. He earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry studying DNA repair and tumor suppression mechanisms using comparative biology approaches. Dr. Hine’s research largely focuses on how diet and aging regulate the production of hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) inside the human body and how changes in the production of this compound impacts health. The gas, known for its strong odor of rotten eggs and toxicity at high levels, is produced in human cells. In addition to playing an important role in delaying aging, studies have shown that hydrogen sulfide suppresses tumor growth in a number of different types of cancers-including GBM. New evidence suggests it can also alter tumor immunity, making it more difficult for tumor cells to thrive. Dr. Hine is studying the aging-related decline in the H2S system and its correlation to GBM growth and progression while impeding the body’s natural anti-tumor surveillances.
Dr. Justin Lathia is the principal investigator in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and co-director of its Brain Tumor Center of Excellence. He oversees a lab that is studying, among other things, how stem cell populations that have been identified in malignant brain tumors could be targeted to kill cancerous cells. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are primitive cells that have the unique ability to mature into multiple different types of cells. This allows CSCs to be especially capable of escaping from traditional treatments — like chemotherapy and radiation. The surviving CSCs are thought to be among the primary drivers of tumor recurrence after initial treatment, making them attractive targets for new therapeutic strategies that could eliminate their population within malignant brain tumors.
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Resources from Ep. 2:
Sci-News Journal- Rotten Egg Gas May Be Key to Human Longevity,
National Library of Medicine. Hine, C., et al.- Hydrogen sulfide operates as a glioblastoma suppressor and is lost under high fat diet,
UVA Health, Sheehan, J. Focused Ultrashound Shows Promise Against Brain Tumor,
National Institutes of Health, Harrison, L.: Hydrogen Sulfide as a Radiosensitizer for Glioblastoma,
Focused Ultrasound Foundation: Focused Ultrasound Therapy & Brain Tumors, Glioma & Metastatic,
National Library of Medicine, Lathia, J.D., Hubert, C.G.,: Seeing the GBM Diversity Spectrum,
ACTIVE, Not Currently Recruiting. (This is trial Harry Lorusso did.) Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at John Hopkins: GMCI, Nivolumab, and Radiation in Treating Newly Diagnosed High-Grade Gliomas,
CURRENTLY RECRUITING! National Cancer Institute- Testing the Addition of Immune Therapy Drugs,
CURRENTLY RECRUITING! Roswell Cancer Center- SurVaxM Vaccine-Brain Cancer Immunotherapy,
CURRENTLY RECRUITING! OncoSynergy and Moffit Cancer Center (FL)- Phase 1 Clinical Trial for Recurrent Glioblastoma,
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