Recent publications: see also a more comprehensive publication list

Orally Administered 5-aminolevulinic Acid for Isolation and Characterization of Circulating Tumor-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Glioblastoma Patients. Maas SLN, van Solinge TS, Schnoor R, Yekula A, Senders JT, de Vrij J, Robe P, Carter BS, Balaj L, Arkesteijn GJA, Nolte-'t Hoen ENM, Broekman MLD. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 7;12(11):3297. doi: 10.3390/cancers12113297.

Characterization of plasma-derived protoporphyrin-IX-positive extracellular vesicles following 5-ALA use in patients with malignant glioma. Jones PS, Yekula A, Lansbury E, Small JL, Ayinon C, Mordecai S, Hochberg FH, Tigges J, Delcuze B, Charest A, Ghiran I, Balaj L, Carter BS.

Dr. Anudeep Yekula * These publications explore the theme of flourescent guided liquid biopsy. The concept takes advantage of several unique features of the use of orally administered 5-ALA, which is used to facilitate brain tumor resections. As patients ingest this substance, their tumor cells begin to flouresce and release extracellular vesicles which also flouresce. Dr. Anudeep Yekula in the laboratory has taken a leadership role in developing novel techniques to isolate and characterize these vesicles.

TERT Promoter Mutation Analysis for Blood-Based Diagnosis and Monitoring of Gliomas. Muralidharan K, Yekula A, Small JL, Rosh ZS, Kang KM, Wang L, Lau S, Zhang H, Lee H, Bettegowda C, Chicoine MR, Kalkanis SN, Shankar GM, Nahed BV, Curry WT, Jones PS, Cahill DP, Balaj L, Carter BS. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 1;27(1):169-178. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3083. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Koushik Muralidharan * This publication sets a new standard for detecting nano quantities of released cell free DNA from brain tumors in the plasma at a specific genetic locus, in this case the TERT promoter mutations that are common in glioblastoma. In one of the largest studies to date, Koushik Muralidharan showed in over 150 studied patients, the ability to detect canonical TERT promoter mutations in over 60% of cases from the plasma, opening the possibility of using this important tool in the clinic.

Extracellular Vesicles in Glioblastoma Tumor Microenvironment Yekula A, Yekula A, Muralidharan K, Kang K, Carter BS, Balaj L. Front Immunol. 2020 Jan 21;10:3137. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.03137. eCollection 2019.

Exosomes in the TME

  • This review article highlights the complexities of extracellular communication in the glioblastoma microenvironment. Dynamic EV mediated communication between glioma cells and stromal cells including monocytes, macrophages, mast cells, microglia, T cells, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes occurs. EVs in GBM microenvironment mediate cell proliferation and survival, angiogenesis, metabolic activity, immunomodulation, resistance to chemoradiation as well as cell migration and invasion.