Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology

Dr MagimairajanIssai Vanan

Brain Cancer

Dr Issai Vanan
ON5025a-675 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3E 0V9
Lab number 204-787-4171

Email: Dr MagimairajanIssai Vanan

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour in children with only a 25-40% rate of five-year disease-free survival for high-risk patients. Current therapies, in particular radiotherapy, have significant long-term side-effects including neuro-cognitive difficulties. Thus, there is a strong need to develop new therapeutic strategies with the goal of maximizing survival whilst minimizing side effects.

The objectives of this proposal are to identify and validate genes that may contribute to the resistance to radiation treatment of medulloblastoma tumours and to study the clinical importance of these genes by testing whether their abundance is increased in malignant medulloblastoma tumours.

We also will establish a new animal model of a recently identified subgroup of medulloblastoma tumours with extremely poor prognosis. This model will allow us to determine whether interfering with the function of the identified genes enhances the benefit of radiotherapy. These findings should pave the way for the identification of new drugs that achieve therapeutic efficacy using much lower doses of radiation, thereby reducing the negative side effects of radiotherapy and significantly enhancing the quality of life of medulloblastoma patients.

Team Members

  • Sajesh Babu (Research Associate)

Publications since 2010

  1. Markowitz D, Powell C, Tran NL, Berens ME, Ryken TC, Vanan M, Rosen L, He M, Sun S, Symons M, Al-Abed Y, Ruggieri R. Pharmacological Inhibition of the Protein Kinase MRK/ZAK Radiosensitizes Medulloblastoma. Mol Cancer Ther. 2016 Aug;15(8):1799-808. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0849. Epub 2016 May 20.
  2. Woodgate RL, Tailor K, Yanofsky R, Vanan MI. Childhood brain cancer and its psychosocial impact on survivors and their parents: A qualitative thematic synthesis. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2016 Feb;20:140-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2015.07.004. Epub 2015 Jul 17.
  3. DIPG in Children - What Can We Learn from the Past? Vanan M, Eisenstat DD. Front Oncol. 2015 Oct 21;5:237. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00237. eCollection 2015. Review.
  4. Vanan M, Eisenstat DD. Management of high-grade gliomas in the pediatric patient: Past, present, and future. Neurooncol Pract. 2014 Dec;1(4):145-157. Epub 2014 Sep 12.
  5. Liang L, Aiken C, McClelland R, Morrison LC, Tatari N, Remke M, Ramaswamy V, Issaivanan M, Ryken T, Del Bigio MR, Taylor MD, Werbowetski-Ogilvie TE. Characterization of novel biomarkers in selecting for subtype specific medulloblastoma phenotypes. Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 17;6(36):38881-900. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.6195.
  6. Miller IS, Didier S, Murray DW, Turner TH, Issaivanan M, Ruggieri R, Al-Abed Y, Symons M. Semapimod sensitizes glioblastoma tumors to ionizing radiation by targeting microglia. PLoS One. 2014 May 9;9(5):e95885. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095885. eCollection 2014.
  7. Issaivanan M, Redner A, Weinstein T, Soffer S, Glassman L. Edelman M, Fein-Levy C. Esophageal Carcinoma in children and adolescents. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2012; 34(1): 63- 67.
  8. Issaivanan M, Cohen S, Mittler M, Johnson A, Edelman M, Redner A. Iatrogenic spinal epidermoid cyst after lumbar puncture using needles with stylet. Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.2011; 28(7):600-603.
  9. Issaivanan M, Nhlane NM, Rizvi F, Shukla M, Baldauf MC. Brown Sequard Plus syndrome because of penetrating trauma in children. Pediatr Neurol. 2010 Jul; 43(1):57-60.

Review Articles

Issaivanan M., Choudhury VP., "Inherited Neonatal Thrombosis: Clinical features and Management", Recent Advances in Pediatrics-Neonatal emergencies, Ed- Suraj Gupte, 2003.

Textbook Chapters

Issaivanan M., Wolfe LR. "Systemic manifestations of Hematologic disorders in children", Manual of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Ed- Philip Lanzkowsky, Fifth Edition (2011).

Honors and Awards

2012-2015 Fr.Peter J Mckenna St Baldrick's Research Scholar "Validation of potential therapeutic targets that mediate radio-resistance in Medulloblastoma".

2008- 2011 St Baldrick's Fellow, Childhood Cancer Research, to study the "Role of MRK Kinase in radiation- induced invasion in High-grade Gliomas". (

2008 Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP)

2007 Co-recipient, Little Louie foundation award of $10,000 to study signal transduction in Medulloblastomas (

2004 Certificate of Merit, for participation in the Obesity Outreach Program, Community Pediatrics rotation, BUHMC, NY.

2003 Recipient, Partial fees waiver, Department of Maternal and Child Health, BUSPH, Boston, MA for academic excellence in fall semester.

2001 Fellow, Diplomate in National Board, DNB (Pediatrics).

1996- 1997 Invited National Faculty, for PALS Courses at the Annual National Conference of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997-98.

1995 Recipient, Certificate of Merit, Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh, for becoming the youngest certified Instructor of PALS in India.

1987- 1992 Medical School Honors in ENT, Ophthalmology and Community Medicine.

1985 Recipient, Certificate of Merit and Cash Prize, for securing first place in the National Language Contest for the entire state of Karnataka held among 30,000 students.


2013 CancerCare Manitoba Foundation equipment grant for the purchase of RadSource RS2000 x-ray irradiator

RIOH gratefully acknowledges the generous support of

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