Our work emphasizes the electrical components of tumor pathophysiology and highlights the extent to which the brain and its neurons can control and facilitate disease progression. The understanding of these co-opting mechanisms has led to novel strategies to broadly treat cancers, by disabling their ability to electrically integrate into neural circuitry. Our pioneering efforts in this emerging field of cancer neuroscience aims to harness the systems level microenvironmental dependencies of tumor growth to develop innovative therapeutic treatments.
Brain metastases outnumber primary brain tumors by 10-fold and are on the rise. The "seed-and-soil" hypothesis suggests that as cancer cells spread, they acquire the ability to interact with the specific microenvironment of the host organ.
We aim to understand how brain metastases interact with their microenvironment and clarify the mechanisms by which electrical inputs facilitate metastatic colonization.
We apply classical and systems neuroscience techniques to understand the dynamic neural circuits acting in concert to orchestrate malignant disease progression.
Our work thus far highlights the potential to target bidirectional neuron-glioma communication and network dynamics for therapy and further aims to understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of these circuits throughout tumor development.
The Venkatesh Lab
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