04 May 2020

Medulloblastoma and ependymoma are two types of cancerous brain tumours that occur in children and can be challenging to treat if they recur. An international team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has developed a novel approach that delivers appropriately-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy directly into the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the tumour.

The team identified three cell-surface targets, EPHA2, HER2 and interleukin 13 receptor α2, expressed on medulloblastomas and ependymomas, but not expressed in the normal developing brain and successfully demonstrated the use of CAR T cells into the cerebrospinal fluid, alone or in combination with azacitidine, for multiple metastatic mouse models of group 3 medulloblastoma and PFA ependymoma, thereby providing a rationale for clinical trials of these approaches in humans.

The findings support clinical studies to evaluate this strategy to treat paediatric brain cancers, the most common cause of cancer death in childhood.

Reference: NeuroScience News