Grants - Designated Grants - California - 2018

Sabine Mueller, M.D., Ph.D.

Funded by 2015 Wine Celebration Fund-A-Need

Children with diffuse midline gliomas continue to have a dismal prognosis and most children die within one year of their diagnosis. Decades of clinical research and hundreds of clinical trials have not been able to change the outcome for these patients. Studies have shown that the majority of these tumors carry a specific mutation referred to as H3.3K27M which is present in almost all tumors cells making this a very attractive target for immunotherapy approaches.

Within this proposal we are aiming to assess the benefit of a specific immunotherapy approach referred to as T cell receptor approach. We have been able to show in the laboratory that this approach is able to kill H3.3K27M tumor cells very effectively. Based on our exciting animal data, we propose to test this new therapy approach in clinic. Subjects whose tumors carry the H3.3K27M will undergo collection of their own T-cells prior to start of radiation therapy, which is considered the standard of care for these tumors. These T cells will subsequently be modified in the laboratory to specifically recognize the specific H3.3K27M mutation. These modified T cells will then be given back to subjects once they completed radiation therapy.

Within this project we will assess if such a therapy approach is feasible and safe. This project has the potential to significantly impact the treatment approach for a disease for which we have not achieved any improvement for the last several decades and is the first of its kind for this devastating disease.