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Center for Translational Neuro-Oncology (CETNO)

Malignant brain tumors are rare but also among the most fatal tumors and there have been few clinical advances in the last three decades.

UH researchers working with colleagues at UH and other institutions have made significant contributions to the field in terms of clinical trials, novel imaging and blood biomarkers, as well as basic and epidemiological research with the goal of improving clinical care. While such translational research is needed to move advances from the basic science lab into clinical care, research focusing on this is not well funded by existing funding mechanisms. In recognition of the unique productivity of this multi-disciplinary team, UH has funded the Center of Excellence for Translational Neuro-Oncology (CETNO) in order to support translational team science by this unique, multidisciplinary group.

CETNO is in a unique position to change the standard of care for brain tumors, particularly by identifying biomarkers for treatment response and recurrence, which can then cheaply and rapidly adapted to blood or routine imaging. The clinical application of the DR/VAN2 index (DVI, a liquid biopsy test), is already being developed by UH Innovations. Studies and clinical trials focused on glioma stem cells and immunotherapy also have practice-changing potential, but this will likely take longer.

CETNO’s five-year goal will include new clinical trials with an increased volume of new and recurrent brain tumors as well as at least one grant-funded clinical trial, one basic science RO1 as well as IP and grants to support biomarker work. The establishment of CETNO will enable the UH Neurological Institute, Seidman Cancer Center and Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center to continue growing local, regional, and national prestige. Community collaborators will be incentivized and participate in clinical and biomarker studies. The UH-community collaboration is a win-win situation as it allows community physicians to partner with the Neurological Institute and Seidman Cancer Center through academics and potentially re-enforces clinical partnerships.