Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a common type of malignant brain tumor. It is one of the deadliest and most aggressive forms of solid cancer with over 95% of patients dying within 5 years of diagnosis. This type of tumor is incredibly difficult to treat because of its high rate of cellular proliferation and heterogeneous nature. Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system and can be found throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system is involved in several physiological processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are of a class of cell membrane receptors in the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. CB1 receptors are located predominantly throughout the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune and gastrointestinal systems. Despite the lack of CB2 receptors in the central nervous system, literature supports that CB2 receptors are present in gliomas, and their expression increases as tumor grade increases. The literature regarding CB1 expression reports conflicting results on whether this protein increases or decreases with tumor grade. These reports lend to the importance of these receptors in regard to characterizing and treating particularly aggressive cancers. We hypothesize that both CB1 and CB2 expression will increase when tumor grade increases. Our project aims to add to the literature on CB1 and to come to a consensus on its effects as well as to replicate results with the existing literature on CB2. Having a better understanding of the receptors’ locations may allow for targeted drug therapy and extend patient survival.

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Faculty Advisor

Dr. Amber LaCrosse

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