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Brain tumor research

A project from Klinik für Neurochirurgie Charité
in Berlin, Germany

Brain tumors include tumor cells and immune cells. With a special staining method (multiplex IHC) we would like to characterize tissue of surgically removed brain tumors in more detail with regard to individual immune cells.

D. Wasilewski
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This project lead by David Wasilewski neurosurgery resident at the department of neurosurgery at the Charité University Hospital Berlin. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the formation and growth of brain metastases. Brain metastasis frequency is rising and particularly patients with lung cancer or breast cancer are affected. Other cancers that can metastasize relatively to the brain are melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. 
Apart from surgical removal as well as subsequent radiation and / or immunotherapy there are not any other therapeutic strategies for these patients. Brain metastases are characterized by different cell-cell interactions involving cancer cells, immune cells and resident cells of the CNS. Interactions with these different cell types can result in different behaviour of cancer cells in the CNS and some of these mechanisms have been described earlier (Valiente et al., Cell, 2014; Wasilewski et al., Front. Oncol., 2017; Priego et al., Nat. Med., 2018). However, further research is needed to more precisely characterize the different tumor cell-immune cell interactions in brain metastasis. 
Cancer patients, in whom brain metastases are detected at later stages of their malignancy (e.g. breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma or renal cancer) most frequently have already had a therapy such as immunotherapy, radiation or behavior 
("pre-treated"). In contrast, patients, in which brain metastasis is the first sign of a underlying malignant disease typically have not experienced any treatment (“therapy-naive“). Our scientific questions involves the analysis and comparison of the immune cell composition of treatment naïve and pre-treated patients. A focus is to address the question how the immune cell composition in brain metastases changes upon treatment with immunotherapy.
For this purpose, we have established a method with our collaboration partners to stain metastatic tissue using identifying immune markers (Multiplex IHC). The aim is to characterize immune cells in tissues from untreated and previously treated patients with brain metastases in order to decipher changes in resistance mechanisms. 
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Bank Account details: Account recipient: Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin Bank: Berliner Sparkasse IBAN no .: DE53100500001270005550 BIC no: BELADEBEXXX Purpose: 88150201