Development of peptide-based probes as imaging and targeting agents for glioblastoma therapy

Glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive primary brain tumors in adults, is feared for its near uniformly fatal prognosis. Due to its infiltrative nature, surgery alone is ineffective in disease eradication. We originally identified abnormal cancer stem cells called brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs) that lead to the formation of this brain tumor. These BTICs are known to be resistant to current chemoradiotherapy and act as disease reservoirs that contribute to recurrence. Using clinically relevant human GBM BTIC models from treatment resistant recurrent tumors, our collaborator Dr. Steve Robbins employed an unbiased combinatorial phage-display biopanning strategy to isolate peptides that home in vivo to disease reservoirs within GBM; especially the invasive and stem-like populations. We aim to develop these peptides for molecular imaging and clinical targeting of treatment resistant GBM BTICs, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sheila Kumari Singh


Parvez Firoz Vora


Arch BioPartners




Life sciences


McMaster University



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