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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Developing Epithelial Membrane Protein 2 as a Prognostic Marker for Glioblastoma Treatment Response and Outcomes: Study Proposal and Design

  • Author(s): Pelargos, Panayiotis
  • Advisor(s): Kaplan, Sherrie H
  • Greenfield, Sheldon
  • et al.

Background: Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive brain cancer that leads to death within 15 months of diagnosis. Despite active research in the field, effective treatment options are currently limited to surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Recently, there has been a push towards characterizing glioblastoma tumors genetically, epigenetically, transcriptionally, and proteomically in order to develop new, more targeted and individualized therapeutic approaches to glioblastoma.

Aims: The aim of this thesis is to develop a study proposal for the characterization of one of the genes believed to be over-expressed in glioblastoma, EMP2. The study proposed will evaluate EMP2 role’s in glioblastoma pathogenesis and evaluate the therapeutic potential of antibodies developed against EMP2 expressed on the glioblastoma surface membrane.

Methods: In-vitro and in-vivo background studies performed in our labs as well as those found in the literature are presented and discussed as the foundation and groundwork for the proposed study. The study proposal is then outlined in detail.

Results: The purpose of the proposed study is to demonstrate the efficacy of targeting EMP2 on glioblastoma tumor cells using an antibody against EMP2. A detailed description of the proposed study design is given followed by the dissemination and implementation potential of the results of this study. We hypothesize that the functional consequence of EMP2 up-regulation in glioblastoma cells is to orchestrate the membrane expression of proteins required for cell migration, invasion, and neoangiogenesis. Additionally, we predict that the expression of EMP2 can be therapeutically exploited as a novel treatment target using antibodies against EMP2.

Discussion: Our results from the background studies and the expected results from the study proposal suggest that EMP2 may be a promising molecular therapeutic target in glioblastoma. Additional work will be needed to determine whether anti-EMP2 antibodies can be combined with standard chemotherapy or molecularly-targeted treatments to treat glioblastoma in human patients.

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