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Theses Doctoral

Genomic Evolution of Glioblastoma

Ladewig, Erik

Understanding how tumors evolve and drive uncontrolled cellular growth may lead to better prognosis and therapy for individuals suffering from cancer. A key to understanding the paths of progression are to develop computational and experimental methods to dissect clonal heterogeneity and statistically model evolutionary routes.
This thesis contains results from analysis of genomic data using computational methods that integrate diverse next generation sequencing data and evolutionary concepts to model tumor evolution and delineate likely routes of genomic alterations.
First, I introduce some background and present studies into how tumor genomic sequencing tells us about tumor evolution. This will encompass some of the principles and practices related to tumor heterogeneity within the field of computional biology. Second, I will present a study of longitudinal sampling in Glioblastoma (GBM) in cohort of 114 individuals pre- and post-treatment. We will see how genomic alterations were dissected to uncover a diverse and largely unexpected landscape of recurrence. This details major observations that the recurrent tumor is not likely seeded by the primary lesion.
Second, to dissect heterogeneity from clonal evolution, multiple biopsies will be added to extend our longitudinal GBM cohort. This new data will introduce analyses to explicate inter and intra-tumor heterogeneity of GBM. Specifically, we identify a metric of intratumor heterogeneity able to identify multisector biopsies and propose a model of tumor growth in multiple GBM. These results will relate to clinical outcome and are in agreement with previously established hypotheses in truncal mutation targeting. Fourth, I will introduce new models of clonal growth applicable to 2 patient biopsies and then fit these to our GBM cohort. Simulations are used to verify models and a brief proof is presented.

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More About This Work

Thesis Advisors
Rabadan, Raul
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 10, 2018