The Rao lab is focused on glioma, the most common and deadliest primary brain tumor in humans. A fundamental interest of the lab is understanding the process of malignant progression of glioma. Many gliomas begin as slow-growing tumors, classified as low-grade gliomas. Over time, these tumors acquire additional genetic aberrations that cause the tumor to grow and ultimately degenerate to a malignant tumor, known broadly as a high-grade glioma. Some high-grade gliomas are also known as glioblastoma, a particularly deadly tumor with very poor survival rates. The laboratory has identified genetic drivers of malignant progression of glioma.
The lab is also focused on understanding how the tumor microenvironment influences the growth of tumor cells. The brain is populated by unique immune cells that can actually promote tumor growth. We have targeted these cells to reverse immunosuppression and inhibit malignant progression. We are also investigating novel therapeutic strategies to treat gliomas that we hope to ultimately bring to patients.
- Modeling Malignant Progression in Glioma
- Modulation of Microglia and T Cell Interactions in Malignant Glioma
- Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of GBM Infiltration
- Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for the Treatment of Glioblastoma