Establishing a non-invasive approach to accurately diagnose and assess brain tumours

A team led by Dr Gelareh Zadeh is developing a ground-breaking non-invasive technique to improve outcomes for people with brain cancer through better diagnosis, monitoring of treatment and prediction of tumour recurrence and progression.

Gliomas and glioblastomas are 2 of the most challenging brain tumours to treat, with very poor survival rates. Most tumours are diagnosed using imaging technology and biopsies, but a lack of biomarkers to support the analysis of these tumours mean these methods are unable to facilitate early diagnosis, predict response to treatment, or predict the likelihood of recurrence and progression. 

With funding from the Canadian Cancer Society, Brain Canada and the Cancer Research Society, this multidisciplinary team of experts spans Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. With ongoing guidance from patient partners, they aim to build on previous work to validate an approach that uses circulating tumour DNA (in the blood) to characterize brain tumours earlier, accurately, and with the ability to predict response to treatment, risk of recurrence, and likelihood of spread. 

This project aims to establish a blood-based, sensitive approach to detect brain tumours earlier, improve treatment and advance care for people with brain cancer. 

Total Amount Awarded over 5 years: $ 4,515,770

Team Members

Principal Investigator
  • Gelareh Zadeh, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre - UHN
Co-Principal Investigators
  • Federico Gaiti, University Health Network
  • Sheila Mansouri, University Health Network
Knowledge Users
  • Evanthia Galanis, Mayo Clinic
  • Shreya Gandhi, University Health Network
  • Minesh Mehta, Miami Cancer Institute
  • Kenneth Aldape, National Cancer Institute
  • Karolyn Au, University of Alberta
  • Sebastian Brandner, NHS Foundation Trust
  • Eric Chen, University Health Network
  • Daniel De Carvalho, University Health Network
  • Andrew Gao, University Health Network
  • Janic Gorayeb, Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada
  • Hansen He, University Health Network
  • Craig Horbinski, Northwestern University
  • Kathy Oliver, International Brain Tumour Alliance
  • Víctor M Pérez-García, University of Castilla-La Mancha
  • Trevor Pugh, University Health Network
  • Susan Short, Leeds University
  • Bradly Wouters, University Health Network
  • Stephen Yip, University of British Columbia

Team Geography

Team members from 3 provinces, as well as 4 US states (Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota), the UK and Spain