Neuro-oncology and pediatrics solid tumors
High-grade tumors of the central nervous system are the most common malignant solid tumors in childhood. Of these tumors, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), high-grade glioma (pHGG) and gliomatosis cerebri are a priority for our group.
These entities are a major cause of disease and death in children and overall survival has not improved substantially in recent years, despite surgical treatment, radiation therapy, and polychemotherapy. It is clear, therefore, that management of these diseases is suboptimal and that new targeted therapies are needed. The main objective of our laboratory is to develop new therapeutic strategies for brain tumors by exploiting the immune system through the use of tumor-specific oncolytic viruses combined with other strategies that may potentiate this effect.
We use adenovirus Delta-24-RGD, which has been designed to replicate specifically in cells with alterations of the RB cell-cycle regulation pathway, thus making it of particular interest for use in childhood tumors. We use this virus as a platform for developing other viruses that seek to exploit the immune system in order to obtain greater control over the disease.
Our project uses important, novel in vitro and in vivo models of pediatric brain tumors with the intention of implementing these strategies in children with brain tumors.
Secondary goals of our laboratory are the search for new markers and understanding the underlying biology of these tumors.