Stefania Faletti, post doctoral researcher in the “Biology of Glioblastomas and Brain Metastases and Potential Therapeutic Targets” Unit, headed by Giuliana Pelicci, has won the 2022 Brainy grant call. This year, only one fellowship and two research grants have been assigned. The grant is meant to support the purchase of lab reagents for research projects on brain tumors. Brainy is a non-profit association founded in 2020 to fund innovative and creative brain tumor research.
Stefania Faletti’s project aims at evaluating the role of metabolic plasticity in enabling glioblastoma cells to overcome the stressful conditions of LSD1 inhibitor-based therapy, survive and fuel cancer relapse: in other words, evaluating whether cancer cells’ ability to adapt to LSD1 inhibitor-based therapy-related stress, altering their metabolism, enables them to survive treatment.
By exploiting in vitro and in vivo models of glioblastoma, she will perform genomic and transcriptomic analyses to identify the key factors of cancer cell metabolism responsible for resistance to LSD1 inhibitors. Being required for therapy resistance, these factors represent cancer vulnerabilities to be targeted to kill resistant cells and eradicate the disease.
Moreover, the genomic and transcriptomic profiling of LSD1 inhibitor-resistant cells will allow to define gene signatures enabling to identify those patients who may benefit from specific treatments.
By assessing whether glioblastoma cells actually rely on specific metabolic pathways to survive stressful conditions associated with treatment and identify the targetable actors involved, this research will ultimately propose novel pre-clinically validated LSD1 inhibitors-based anti cancer combination therapies to advance towards clinical testing.