Page 37 - 2019 Annual Report
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Glioblastoma Therapy
The most common form of adult brain cancer
is glioblastoma. Doctors diagnose about 14,000 glioblastoma cases in the U.S. each year. One of the key reasons why glioblastoma is so aggressive is that it shuts off the immune system. Although immunotherapy has shown great promise by activating the white blood cells to attack some cancer types, glioblastomas contain few white blood cells to be activated.
A research team led by Clark C. Chen, MD,
PhD, professor and head of the Department of Neurosurgery, injected hollowed silica (a form
of glass) particles into glioblastomas to facilitate recruitment of white blood cells. The injected tumors were then treated with high-intensity, focused ultrasound, which effectively “blew up” the glass particles to rupture cancer cells, releasing proteins that attract white blood cells.
In an important step forward, Emad Ebbini,
PhD, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has developed an ultrasound system capable of rupturing cancer cells without the use of the silica shell, a perfect collaborative fit for this clinical application. Researchers are working toward a first-in-human study to test this system in glioblastoma patients.
On January 1, 2019, after more than two decades of collaboration, Fairview Health Services,
the University of Minnesota, and University of Minnesota Physicians implemented a five-year partnership to create a nationally renowned health system, M Health Fairview.
The new agreement will help fund the school’s research in leading-edge fields—
such as neuroscience, artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, and immunotherapy— and help drive discovery of new therapies and improvements in patient care.
   In one month, the Medical School opens three first-in-human trials to treat cancer. The three therapies, including FT516, GTB-3550, and FT500, all have a focus on Natural Killer cells in the treatment of various forms of cancer.

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