Cancers of the brain take many forms, some them especially deadly. Even those that are benign and do not spread can disrupt normal brain functions and cause health problems. Ludwig scientists are intensely studying this special class of cancers, analyzing the genomic changes associated with its forms and developing new approaches for critically needed treatment. For example, Ludwig researchers first identified and studied an important component of signaling in brain cancers (a receptor called EGFRvIII) and developed an intervention strategy, now in clinical testing, that takes advantage of a particular alteration of that receptor. Today, Ludwig scientists are building on that initial discovery to develop combination therapies designed to achieve enhanced tumor responses.
Other Ludwig scientists are dedicated to understanding the basic cellular aspects of the human brain, studying conditions such as ALS and Huntington’s that result from genetic alterations. These studies not only provide insight into those diseases, but also inform how we might better confront brain cancers and develop new ways to deliver precisely targeted therapies.