Press Release: Osimertinib Efficacy Against Intracranial EGFRvIII-Positive GBMs

The Glioblastoma Drug Discovery Group announces that osimertinib significantly prolongs the survival of immunocompromised mice bearing intracranial EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma! These data warrant the commencement of studies designed to test osimertinib’s safety and efficacy in GBM patients.

Press Release: Dr. Steven Keating, Our New Advisor

The Glioblastoma Drug Discovery Group is proud to have brain tumor survivor, Dr. Steven Keating, Ph.D., as a volunteer advisor. Dr. Keating is a strong proponent of curiosity and open patient data, having discovered his own brain tumor during a voluntary academic scan. Since Dr. Keating had a successful brain tumor removal surgery via awake craniotomy in 2014, he has a unique and powerful perspective on the future of brain tumor therapies. He will help us accelerate the development and characterization of our preclinical models for the adolescent and young adult age category. We are very excited to have Dr. Keating join our team!

Recipients of Musella Fellowship


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The Musella Foundation has graciously funded fellowships for two Duke University students, Bradley Cahn and Blair Wilette, to contribute to a project in the lab of Dr. Madan Kwatra. The NIH/NCATS research project they will be working on is titled “Targeting GBMs with Activated EGFR with third-generation, brain penetrating AZD9291.” You can read more about this project in this press release from Duke Translational Medicine:


Follow here for updates on their work and what they are learning.

Glioblastoma in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA)

With the help of the Nicki Leach Foundation, our lab is working to develop preclinical models for glioblastoma brain tumors found in adolescents and young adults (AYA). This group of tumors is biologically distinct and unique from glioblastoma tumors seen in older patients. Thus, this group warrants its own preclinical models to develop effective therapies. A newly uncovered misconception with this age group is that although AYA traditionally have significantly longer survival than older patients, while the the older age group’s cancer survival has been improving overall, AYA has not experienced any increase in survival and now may have worse survival than the older patients. This is likely due to improper models to develop effective therapies for this age category.


We have decided to group the patients as follows:

  • Adolescents: Ages 14-29
  • Young adults and adults: Ages 30-45
  • Mature adults and elderly: Ages 46+


The examination of 595 GBM samples analyzed by TCGA, twenty-four samples existed that were in age range of 14 to 29. Therefore, this age category composes just 4% of the total GBM patients categorized.

Age Table for GBM


Quinn T. Ostrom, Haley Gittleman, Peter M. de Blank, Jonathan L. Finlay, James G. Gurney, Roberta McKean-Cowdin, Duncan S. Stearns, Johannes E. Wolff, Max Liu, Yingli Wolinsky, Carol Kruchko, and Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan. American Brain Tumor Association Adolescent and Young Adult Primary Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2008-2012. Neuro Oncol (2016) 18 (suppl 1): i1-i50 doi:10.1093/neuonc/nov297