Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute
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Inhibiting Autophagy to Increase the Anti-Tumor Activity of Conventional Therapy

Authophagy is a process by which tumor cells use their internal macromolecules as a source of energy when external nutrients are scarce or when exposed to harsh environmental conditions, such as those created by the administration of chemo- and radiation therapy. Northwestern investigators have discovered a novel signaling pathway that is important for authophagy activation. An inhibitor of a key signaling mediator in this pathway has likewise been identified and is currently being tested in animal model studies for its ability to increase the anti-tumor activity of radiation and the chemotherapeutic temozolomide, each of which is routinely used in treating glioblastoma patients.

Investigators

 
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