Debinski Research Interests
The main goal of my laboratory is to advance research in the areas of unmet needs in medicine; a majority of primary brain tumors represents such needs. Our focus is on the identification of molecular markers/targets that are specific to brain tumors. We have uncovered several markers/targets that are present in most patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a brain tumor of dismal prognosis, but absent in normal organs. One of these markers/targets is a restricted receptor for interleukin 13 (IL13) which utility for therapeutic interventions has already been demonstrated. For example, the first generation of our IL13-based cytotoxins, recombinant proteins that kill cancer cells via the restricted IL13 receptor, has accomplished Phase III clinical efficacy trials. We have also uncovered a new ubiquitous oncogene-inducible factor that promotes blood vessels growth in GBM and a subset of specific transcription factors the activity of which may play a paramount role in GBM progression. Most recently, our work has unraveled the presence and important function in GBM of one of the protein tyrosine kinase receptors, EphA2. New diagnostic/imaging/therapeutic strategies are being developed based on all these findings in order to improve the management of patients with brain tumors.