Title of the project: MyeCellTherapy: A novel myeloid-based cell therapy for glioblastoma, using genetically enhanced iPSCs-derived macrophages (iGEMs).
Description of the project:
During the MyeCellTherapy project I will be exploring a novel immunotherapeutic strategy to treat tumors which do not benefit from currently existing immunotherapies, such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Contrary to cancers that respond well to immunotherapy, GBM tumors have a low frequency of T-cells and are highly infiltrated with immunosuppressive myeloid cells. Intriguingly, these immunosuppressive cells form a novel target for future therapeutic strategies. Combining my knowledge of myeloid cells in the central nervous system and the effects of cancer on the brain, the aim is to replace the immunosuppressive cells within the tumor with modified counterparts derived from induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs). The iPSCs are derived from skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed into a pluripotent stem cell state, which enables the generation of an unlimited source of patient-specific cells required for therapeutic purposes. By enhancing the iPSC-derived cells in such a way that they promote anti-tumor immunity, the MyeCellTherapy projects aims to overcome therapeutic resistance in low immunogenic tumor types. The project thus aims to lay the foundations for a new personalized myeloid cell-based immunotherapy approach for non-immunogenic cancers.
VUB department and supervisor: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Prof. Kiavash Movahedi
Starting date: 01/05/2022