Northeastern University

Improving anti-VEGF treatments through exercise training

Sarah Shiferaw with Dr. Dai Fukumura (MGH)

The literature shows that in treating cancer, many anti-VEGF treatments, including immune checkpoint blockades have poor outcomes in patients who are obsese. In our lab, we look to learn mechanistically why this is. As such, my independent project is to train various mice (with implanted breast cancer) on the treadmill, while incrementally increasing the speed at which they run, until the mice are exacerbated. The immediate goal of this process is to define low, high, and moderate intensisty exercise training. In the long term, we will look to find out how this subsequent training can make the treatments more pervasive and more aggressive in targeting the metastasized cells. Previous publications from this lab focused on immune checkpoint blockades, as well as anti-VEGF treatments, I believe we will continue on this path by perhaps even adding a specific drug. Furthermore, I am eager to gain experience in various molecular biology techniques such as flow cytometry, cell culture, along with refining the already existing skills I possess such as PCR and Gel Electrophoresis.