Justin Lathia, PhD
2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 Pilot Awards
3 key takeaways of the VeloSano funded research project:
- For highly lethal brain tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM), the most common type of aggressive brain tumor that arises in the brain, there are limited treatments. The treatments that do exist, removal of the tumor which itself is difficult as it is in the brain, followed by radiation and chemotherapy are not specific or even that effective.
- It is known that these tumors are fueled by a primitive population of cells that are the root of tumor growth and resistant to these conventional radiation and chemotherapy. We are focused on how to target these cells and have found a pathway that they use for their growth that is not used by other cell types.
- Another challenge with targeting GBM is that the tumor growth behind a specialized barrier that prevents drugs from efficiently getting into the brain. Our VeloSano project is focused on developing drugs to this pathway and will focus on creating compounds that effective get into the brain.
Impact of this project on patient care/treatment
- The impact of this project is the development of a new type of anti-cancer agent that can be used for GBM and possibly other tumors which have a CSC component (colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer).
What does VeloSano cancer research funding mean to you?
VeloSano funding is crucial to our research because it allows us to test new ideas and take risks that conventional funding sources would not permit.