Prof. Monika E. Hegi
Head of the Laboratory of Brain Tumour Biology and Genetics - LBGT
Laboratoire de biologie et génétique des tumeurs cérébrales - LBGT
Affiliation: Service of neurosurgery (NCH), Swiss Cancer Center Léman (SCCL)
Keywords: Brain tumors, Tumor genetics and epigenetics, Translational research, Predictive biomarkers, PDX-mouse models, High resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy
> (Epi)genomics of glioma, their relevance for tumor biology, classification, and novel therapeutic strategies.
> Molecular mechanisms and biomarkers of resistance.
> Translational research.
> Longitudinal modeling of tumor invasion using spectroscopy.
We work at the interphase of clinical and basic cancer research, analyzing multidimensional molecular profiles of glioma from patients treated in clinical trials. We aim at identifying predictive factors for response to therapy and new druggable targets, with a particular focus on tumour epigenetics. We have completed the methylome from over 500 glioma of patients treated in 3 clinical trials for low and high grade glioma. Epigenetic changes contribute substantially to the malignant behaviour of tumours, but may constitute a druggable “Achilles-heel” as we have shown for the repair gene MGMT that when epigenetically silenced renders glioblastoma sensitive to alkylating chemotherapy. Along these lines, we use a systems medicine approach with the aim of overcoming resistance by developing rational combinations with epigenetic drugs. In an interdisciplinary project with PD Dr Hottinger from NRG/ONC, the SIB and CIBM-EPFL we analyze patient derived glioblastoma xenografts in the mouse and their human counterparts using high resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy and molecular profiling to identify metabolic patterns for the design of translational clinical trials.