Research Focus

A major strategic research approach of the neuro onolocy research program is to view primary brain tumors within the paradigm of central nervous system developmental biology.  Increasing data clearly demonstrate that many aspects of CNS tumor biology mimic at the genetic, molecular, biochemical and metabolic level, the biology seen in the developing CNS.  We believe that not only can much be learned about CNS tumors through better understanding the parallels with normal CNS development, but that such studies will open up entirely new areas of novel therapeutic approaches. The neuro oncology research program is particularly suited to take this paradigm changing view of CNS tumor research given NYU’s historic and current world-recognized strength in neuroscience, stem cell biology, CNS developmental biology and genetics.

  • Glioma stem cells and the role in the development of gliomas as well as their therapeutic potential.
  • Tumor angiogenesis and therapeutic options
  • The role of Nuclear factor 1-A in CNS development and tumorigenecity
  • The role of oxygen in pediatric glioma genetics, epigenetics and microenvironment 
  • The development of a molecular and bioinformatics open-source hub for pediatric glioma research
  • The study of intra-glioma clonal heterogeneity
  • Clinical research exploring targeting NF-1 associated tumor with novel signal transduction inhibitors.
  • Using tyrosine kinase and/or angiogenesis inhibitors along with low dose focal radiation for treated NF-1 related acoustic neuromas
  • Development of anti-tumor vaccines and immune check point inhibitors for treatment of primary brain tumors
  • The development of novel MRI-based and PET-based neuro-imaging modalities for improved intraoperative neuro-navigation and better detection of early disease recurrence and response to treatment.

Glioma stem cells:

  • Using patient derived glioma stem cells as a model for human tumors.
  • Using glioma stem cells to perform preclinical testing of novel therapeutic agents.
  • Using glioma stem cells to understand the genetic and epigenetic events that allow for and prevent differentiation.

Immunotherapy for malignant gliomas:

  • A series of phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials of immune-modulatory checkpoint inhibitors in patients with recurrent gliomas.
  • A NYU-developed glioma vaccine for patients with recurrent glioma.

Novel uses of stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors

  • Evaluate the optimal number of metastatic brain lesions be treated with SRS
  • Investigate the use of low dose SRS plus bevacizumab for the treatment of acoustic neuromas