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Esther Hulleman

3A. Immuno monitoring of pediatric brain tumours

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and other H3K27-altered diffuse midline gliomas (DMGs) are highly malignant tumors of the central nervous system with an unfavorable prognosis. These tumors often cannot be surgically removed because of their diffuse and infiltrative growth in the pre-existent brain tissue of the midline structures.

Despite major advances in the understanding of tumor biology, numerous clinical trials applying different chemotherapeutic regimens have not shown any relevant survival benefit for this patient group, stalling the median overall survival at 9-11 months. The lack of effective treatment options highlights the critical need to develop new therapeutic strategies for this devastating disease. This includes the use of immunotherapy, which has emerged as a promising new treatment modality for various types of ‘hard-to-treat’ types of cancer, including adult glioma. However, until recently, the lack of relevant immunocompetent animal models of DMG has been a major hurdle in this field of research. Therefore, we have developed a number of DMG mouse models that faithfully recapitulate the human tumor immune microenvironment (TIME).

In this project we will investigate the effects of multiple treatments on the TIME and systemically immunological changes of DMG-bearing animals to determine their potential for inclusion in immune-based therapies.

Preferred skills for this position:

  • candidates with a certificate to work with animals and/or with an immunological background



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