Adoptive Cell Therapy Against Brain Stem Gliomas
Brain tumors are currently the leading cause of cancer deaths in children. Despite modern medicine and currently available clinical care, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is fatal in all children. The development of highly effective and specific therapies that can increase the efficacy of current treatment modalities is a high priority for the management of DIPG. 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 melanoma and renal cancer. We have recently acquired six novel murine models of DIPG (unpublished, kind gift from Dr. Oren Becker, Duke University). Our preliminary results in this model demonstrate that we can efficiently generate tumor-specific T cells against DIPG.
Brandon Wummer will be instrumental in developing an efficacious adoptive cell therapy platform against DIPG that can be translated into clinical use. Frequently practiced clinical care for DIPG involves only brain radiation without chemotherapy, thus we leverage previously determined knowledge about the role of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in mediating immunity in order to develop the most efficacious cell therapy against DIPG. Our hypothesis is: HSCs potentiate anti-tumor immunity against brain stem glioma and lead to efficacy of immunotherapy. Brandon will help in addressing the following aim: Establish the efficacy of adoptive cellular therapy against brain stem glioma in a preclinical model that utilizes frequently practiced clinical care.