Pre-Conference Workshops

Workshop A: Drug Blood-Brain Barrier Penetration

9am-12pm EDT | Tuesday, December 8

Glioblastoma is one of the most common, fatal, and complicated-to-treat adult brain tumors.

Despite considerable attempts to improve our knowledge of GBM, there have been comparatively limited therapeutic developments ever since the early noughties and yet less therapies intended to successfully treat recurring tumors that are resilient to treatment.

While there is a urgent demand to push innovative treatments into the clinic, evolving evidence advocates that significant features exclusive to GBM location and biology, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and intratumoral molecular heterogeneity, individually, stand as serious unanswered obstacles to successful treatment.

Consequently, classifying BBB-penetrating drugs and employing different and safer techniques to develop drug delivery past the BBB has grown into an industry of rigorous research.

In this workshop, we examine promising approaches to tactically develop drug delivery to GBM and repurpose currently approved and formerly studied drugs using rational combination strategies.

Jing Li

Jing Li
Associate Professor
Karmanos Cancer Institute

Jann Sarkaria

Jann Sarkaria
Professor, Radiation Oncology
Mayo Clinic

William Elmquist

William Elmquist
University of Minnesota

"A complete overview of glioblastoma from a patient point of view to industry challenges, hope for therapies and new technologies, by keynote speakers from the best hospitals and big pharma"
                                                - UCB

"A very productive event, enabling the opportunity to network with the top players in the field and to understand the most recent developments in GBM drug discovery"

- Simcere of America

Workshop B: Sex Differences in Glioblastoma

1pm-4pm EDT | Tuesday, December 8

There are more male than female glioblastoma (GBM) patients, but only recently has a female survival advantage become recognized for GBM patients receiving standard of care. Despite remarkably different sex-based outcomes and well-recognized differences between males and females in genetics, epigenetics, cellular (namely macrophages and microglia) behavior, and organ physiology, all GBM patients still receive the same treatment. Sex differences are not accounted for in the majority of experimental models, not considered in the treatment of GBM, nor accommodated in clinical trial design.

The workshopwill discuss sex differences in GBM at multiple levels with the long-term goal to delineate actionable sex-based differences in GBM. Building on published observations of sex differences in incidence and outcome, genetic risk, and oncogenic pathways we will discuss how the confluence of sex differences in tumor cells (intrinsic) and the microenvironment (extrinsic) emerging from oncogenic events (genetic) and normal sexual differentiation (epigenetic) underlies mechanistic differences in gliomagenesis and disease outcome.

Justin Lathia

Justin Lathia
Vice Chair
& Associate
Cleveland Clinic

Jill Barnholtz-Sloan

Jill Barnholtz-Sloan
Director of Research
Health Analytics & Informatics
University Hospitals

Josh Rubin

Josh Rubin

Jim Connor

Jim Connor
Professor of Neuroscience &
Anatomy & Vice Chair for Research
Penn State Cancer Institute

Michael Berens

Michael Berens
Professor & Director, Deputy Director of Institutional Initiatives, Head Glioma
Research Lab, Search Results
The Translational Genomics Research Institute

"Fantastic event where we had the privilege to
hear some of the most reputed medical doctors,
patient advocates, biotech and drug development
companies in a truly devoted environment
committed to defeat this dreadful disease"

- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute