Viruses and glioblastoma: Affliction or opportunity?

Haidn Foster and Charles S. Cobbs

Herpesviruses, polyomaviruses, and papillomaviruses have all been detected in glioblastoma cells and/or cell lines. Our group first published evidence of human cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpesvirus, in glioblastoma specimens from immunocompetent patients in 2002. However, the discovery of CMV and other viruses in glioblastoma has met with controversy following several studies that failed to detect viral particles in GBM. Here we summarize the known relationships between viruses and malignant gliomas, including viral detection in GBM, the oncomodulatory effects of GBM-associated viruses, and the novel ways by which investigators are targeting viruses for the treatment of glioblastoma.

“The first case of Balamuthia mandrillaris brain infection suspected from nasal lavage.”

Fatal Balamuthia mandrillaris brain infection associated with improper nasal lavage All-Time Top 3k Article, Altmetric

Keenan J. Piper, Haidn Foster, Daniel Susanto, Cynthia L. Maree, Sean D. Thornton, and Charles S. Cobbs

We present a case of a 69-year old female who presented with a chronic nasal skin rash, a new onset focal seizure, and a cerebral ring-enhancing lesion after a year of improper nasal irrigation. Despite aggressive and novel anti-amoebic treatment, she succumbed to a fatal Balamuthia mandrillaris brain infection.

Human cytomegalovirus seropositivity is associated with decreased survival in glioblastoma patients Best Clinical Research Poster

Haidn Foster, James Scanlan, Keenan J. Piper, Jae-Guen Yoon, and Charles S. Cobbs.

Barriers to healthcare navigation: An inter-organizational analysis of key Cincinnati community stakeholders

Tatiana Capizzano, Haidn Foster, Zachary Higgins, Parker Howard, Melissa Johns, Alyssa Kelder, Max Langer, Mateo Mendoza, John Moon, Mara Nickel, Keith O’Conor, and Alison Perry

“Some recent clinical results [reviewed by Foster, et al.] suggest that including CMV-targeted approaches in the treatment of glioblastoma may be helpful.”

Human cytomegalovirus-mediated immunomodulation: Effects on glioblastoma progression

Haidn Foster, Ilya V. Ulasov, and Charles S. Cobbs

The presence of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), first established in 2002, has developed into an area of considerable interest and controversy. Numerous studies have found evidence of possible HCMV infection of GBM tumor cells as well as myriad onco- and immunomodulatory properties exhibited by HCMV antigens and transcripts, while recent reports have failed to detect HCMV particles in GBM and question the virus' role in tumor progression. This review highlights the known immunomodulatory properties of HCMV, independent of GBM infection status, that help drive the virus from peripheral blood into the vital tissues and subsequently dampen local immune response, assisting GBM tumors in evading immune surveillance and contributing to the disease's poor prognosis. Emerging antiviral approaches to treating GBM, including antiviral drugs and immunotherapies directed against HCMV, are also examined.

Precision knockdown of EGFR gene expression using radio frequency electromagnetic energy

Ilya V. Ulasov, Haidn Foster, and Charles S. Cobbs

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the radio frequency energy (RFE) range can affect cells at the molecular level. Here we report a technology that can record the specific RFE signal of a given molecule, in this case the siRNA of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). We demonstrate that cells exposed to this EGFR siRNA RFE signal have a 30-70% reduction of EGFR mRNA expression and ~60% reduction in EGFR protein expression vs. control treated cells. Specificity for EGFR siRNA effect was confirmed via RNA microarray and antibody dot blot array. The EGFR siRNA RFE decreased cell viability, as measured by Calcein-AM measures, LDH release and Caspase 3 cleavage, and increased orthotopic xenograft survival. The outcomes of this study demonstrate that an RFE signal can induce a specific siRNA-like effect on cells. This technology opens vast possibilities of targeting a broader range of molecules with applications in medicine, agriculture and other areas.

Breaking down barriers: Trilby as an entrance point to genius through the individual and gender transgression

Haidn Foster