Laboratory of tumor biology and genetics

The Laboratory of Brain Tumor Biology and Genetics (LTBG), directed by Professor Monika Hegi, investigates the development of human gliomas and performs translational research in neuro-oncology.

Glioblastoma is the most common and most malignant form of primary brain tumors. To improve the prognosis of this devastating disease, with a median survival of only 15 months, we need to identify predictive factors for response to therapy and discover new targets for future therapies. In contrast lower grade gliomas, occurring in younger patients, have a different molecular make up and a much slower clinical course. Here the challenge is to find effective treatments without long-term toxicity, in order not to compromise cognitive function and quality of life.

Our lab investigates molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis in progression of gliomas, with the aim to develop treatment strategies adapted to the molecular make-up of the tumors. To address these challenges the group members and collaborators contribute expertise in various fields including tumor biology, neurosurgery, biostatistics, bioinformatics, and imaging.

Our research includes:

  • Molecular analysis of brain tumor biopsies obtained from glioma patients.
  • Bioinformatics analysis of our molecular and clinical data bases to identify key cancer relevant candidate genes
  • In vitro investigatons of candidate genes and molecular pathways using patient derived glioblastoma cell lines and sphere lines
  • In vivo investigations of mouse brain tumor models.
  • Studies of epigenetic alterations in glioma.

These projects are performed in partnership with cooperative trial groups, in particular the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), and in collaboration with our clinical partners in Lausanne. Our collaborative research strategy has yielded the first predictive factor implemented in neuro-oncology – the MGMT methylation status predicting benefit from alkylating agent therapy in glioblastoma patients.

Our goal is to make a difference for brain tumor patients in the future.

 Last updated on 19/02/2024 at 15:33