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AACR-Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award for Translational Cancer Research

The AACR-Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award for Translational Cancer Research provides funding to physician-scientists to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology.

2020 Grantee

Dimitrios Mathios, MD

Dimitrios Mathios, MD

Resident
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland
Cell-free DNA analyses for early detection of brain tumors

Research
Early detection of patients with brain tumors has the potential to increase survival and improve quality of life. Additionally, noninvasive disease monitoring via plasma-based liquid biopsy approaches during the course of treatment obviates the need for risky, invasive procedures, which are routinely performed for the sole purpose of assessing treatment response. However, attempts to develop a plasma-based liquid biopsy assay for brain tumors have largely failed. This work proposes to use a new approach that combines genetic and epigenetic features of circulating tumor DNA and utilizes a machine learning approach to distinguish patients with brain tumors from disease free individuals.

Biography
Dr. Mathios received his medical degree from Athens Medical School in Greece and then joined the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Department as a postdoctoral fellow with primary focus in cancer immunotherapy and cancer genetics. He entered the neurosurgery residency program at Johns Hopkins in 2014 and is currently a 5th year resident. Dr. Mathios has a strong interest in neuro-oncology and is focusing his two year research fellowship on efforts to non-invasively diagnose patients with brain tumors via liquid biopsy approaches under the mentorship of Dr. Victor Velculescu at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Acknowledgment of Support
This award recognizes the major challenges that brain tumor patients face daily during their treatment and provides the necessary support towards development of a liquid biopsy approach for earlier and less invasive diagnosis of brain tumors. With the generous support of AACR-Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, I will be able to explore my research interests and set the basis for my future physician-scientist career.