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Jarno Drost

10A. Characterization of the immune microenvironment of rhabdomyosarcoma for the development of immunotherapy

Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a soft tissue malignancy of mesenchymal origin which is thought to arise as a consequence of derailed myogenic differentiation. Despite intensive treatment regimens, the prognosis for high-risk patients remains dismal. The cellular differentiation states underlying RMS, its immune microenvironment, and how these relate to patient outcomes remain largely elusive.

In this project, we will single-cell omics approaches to comprehensively characterize the differentiation stages and immune landscape of RMS. We hypothesize that relieving the block in differentiation underpinning tumorigenesis could be therapeutically explored, aka maturation therapy.  Functional validation of potential (immune-)therapeutic targets will be performed using our unique patient-derived RMS organoidmodels and immune cell co-culture models.

Necessary skills for this position:

  • Master’s degree in biomedical sciences (molecular/cellular biology and/or immunology), or an equivalent thereof
  • Preferably a demonstrated experience in cell culture and molecular biological techniques


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