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Trials Have Begun at UMN Medical School for Promising New Brain Cancer Treatment

Posted by Andrea Inks on Thu, Nov 15, 2018


Due to high-profile cases such as John McCain and Beau Biden, Glioblastoma has received much attention. Still, University of Minnesota Medical School has been working toward a treatment since long before their cancers were public.


Glioblastomas are typically found in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, however can be found anywhere in the brain. Fluid surrounding the tumor or mass effect from the tumor itself causes brain swelling. Diagnosis in a patient is often quick with the onset of these symptoms which causes increased pressure in the brain resulting in nausea, vomiting and severe headaches, typically worse in the mornings. Glioblastoma grows back after surgery aggressively and is incredibly hard to track. Expected survival is typically four to nine months.

Glioblastoma, known for how aggressively it can grow, kills more than 13,000 Americans annually.

A promising new multi-step treatment is currently in phase III of clinical trials. There are three steps of the treatment and it takes about six weeks to complete. This new treatment is the most promising option since 2005. After the removal surgery chemotherapy is created in the brain. The viruses, named Toca 511, are bio-medically engineered. Once they are injected into the brain they act as a living immunotherapy agent.

Dr. Chen, from UMN medical school explains, that the viruses are seeking out the tumors, infecting the tumors and marking them. This process takes about six weeks. "When that drug combines with the tumor infected with the virus, you produce a highly effective process that not only destroys the tumor, but re-educates the immune system," said Dr. Chen.

Dr. Chen says  20 percent of the patients taking part in the trials are living three or more years.


Upcoming Research Event Helps researchers find new tools to help push research programs like this forward faster.

This is what researchers at University of Minnesota have said in the past about this events:

"I really enjoyed this event because the reps at every station were very friendly and knowledgeable. This was the most fun product fair I've ever been to here." - C. H., University of Minnesota BCI event 

"This show had a wide variety of knowledgeable vendors and new products. Very fun experience." - M. D., University of Minnesota BCI event"

"This is the best show for seeing new products, visiting vendors, and enjoying a good lunch. I always make sure to attend every year." - D. A., University of Minnesota BCI event

Exhibitors Attend UMinn Event



Coming to University of Minnesota this spring:

University of Minnesota BioResearch Product Faire™ – 5/2/19

Last year, the BioResearch Product Faire™ event at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities attracted 389 attendees, of which 105 were professors, post docs and purchasing agents.  Of the total attendees 50 were lab managers. These attendees came from 31 different research buildings and 53 on campus departments.We invite you to be a part of our annual BioResearch Product Faire™ event at the University of Minnesota.

Lab Suppliers also benefited from this event:

Click Here to Learn More  About Selling Lab Supplies @ UMinn

"I really enjoyed all of the great contacts I made!." Exhibitor, University of Minnesota BCI event

"The meeting was overall very good. I got a lot of contacts. Thanks!!" - P. M., Exhibitor, University of Minnesota BCI event

"The was a great marketing event.  I really established some great contacts and improved our business overall". Exhibitor, University of Minnesota BCI event 

Most recent Key stats:

  • Life Science R & D Expenditures: 17th Ranked: $610,920,000
  • NIH Funding: $245,922,132
  • A $182.5 million outpatient care center is slated to open as part of a collaboration between the University of Minnesota & Fairview Health Service. 
  • Fairview Health Services plans $111 million renovation at University of Minnesota hospital.





Tags: uminn research, Brain cancer, Glioblastoma, brain cancer treatment

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