Inside Salk - May 2011 - page 5

JaredSewell, agraduate student, prepares samples in thebiophotonics core facility.
PostdocDinoMorvinski and Inder Verma
Inside Salk 05 |11
Lead Story
Evasiveanddeadly, glioblastomasresist the
harshest of treatments
Theymight lie low for a while,
encouraging the faintest glimmer of hope in patients
who have endured withering therapies, only to strike
back with a vengeance.
Salk scientist
Inder Verma
’s recent work on glioblas-
toma found entirely new evidence that 30 to 40 percent
of blood vessels in tumors were originating from tumor
cells themselves, explaining why drug therapy to inhibit
blood vessel formation, while successfully used to treat
many other types of tumors, might not be effective to
stop glioblastomas in their tracks. “They are the ultimate
shape shifters,” says Verma, an American Cancer Society
professor in the Laboratory of Genetics and holder of the
Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Science,
but he had a difficult time convincing other scientists.
“We showed this data in a paper, but the reviewers
came back and saidwe neededmuch better resolution
to show that these blood vessels really originated from
tumors themselves,” he explains.
Fortunately, Verma would soon have access to a
brand-new, cutting-edge imaging resource that would
provide the imaging resolution the panel demanded:
the Waitt AdvancedBiophotonics Center.
“We couldn’t do that until the biophotonics laboratory
was set up,” he recalls, “but thenwe were able to do the
high-resolution imaging that bore out our results. The pa-
per is now published and hopefully will have an impact.”
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