Faculty of Medicine

Millions to research on brain cancer

The Norwegian Cancer Society will give 4 million kroner (NOK) to research on brain cancer´s communication networks, via so-called microtubes.

Brain Cancer
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain cancer. There is currently no successful treatment.
Illustration: Colourbox.

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Professor Hrvoje Miletic at the Department of Biomedicine recently received 4 million NOK from the Norwegian Cancer Society to study the communication system of aggressive brain cancer. The aim is to develop a targeted therapy against this kind of cancer.

Researching microtubes 

Miletic is leading a project that is looking at so-called microtubes, which are microscopic hollow tubes in the cells. Malignant tumour cells in the brain use these tubules to form communication networks between the cancer cells in the brain.

The researchers in the project are trying to identify the genes involved in the formation of these tubes. This knowledge could be important for helping to develop targeted medicine against glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer. 

“If we better can understand the formation of these microtubes, and thereby how cancer cells communicate, as well as trying to learn what kind of messages they are sending, then we can try to determine how to use this knowledge to learn more about how this kind of cancer develops, and, hopefully, how to treat it more effectively,” says Miltetic. He is leading the Miletic Lab, which is a part of the research group Translational Cancer Research.

New treatment needed

It is difficult to treat glioblastoma using standard therapy and the tumours often recur. There is a strong need to new and better treatments. 

“The long term goal is to offer a new treatment to brain cancer patients that will hinder spreading and prevent resistance to the treatment,” says Hrvoje Miletic.