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Catherine Flores, PhD

Project Title: 
Novel Role of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Immunologic Rejection of Malignant Pediatric Brain Tumors
Institution: 
University of Florida
Grant Type: 
Young Investigator Grants
Year Awarded: 
2015
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Brain Tumors, Glioma
Project Description: 

Background

Despite aggressive multimodality treatment, pediatric brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer related deaths in children. The development of efficacious therapies against these tumors is of paramount importance. Immunotherapeutic approaches against solid tumors can be curative with a demonstrably high degree of specificity, and adoptive T cell therapy using tumor infiltrating lymphocytes has proven to be the most efficacious platform against metastatic disease.

 

Project Goal

Our group has developed an adoptive cellular therapy platform using patient tissue itself to generate tumor-reactive T cells highly specific to each tumor. Leveraging known toxicities of frequently practiced clinical care against pediatric brain tumors, we have been able to generate a highly efficacious adoptive cellular therapy platform. By understanding how our tumor-reactive T cells are significantly enhanced by hematopoietic stem cells, we can make this efficacious immunotherapy applicable across many different types of pediatric brain tumors.