Glioma

Glioblastoma (GB) is the most common and malignant brain cancer in adults and with a medium survival of little more than a year despite today's gold standard treatment (resection, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) it is virtually incurable. Various immunotherapeutical approaches such as vaccination and checkpoint inhibition are currently being clinically tested. Local therapy with inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin-12 is effective in murine models of melanoma and glioma (Tugues et al, 2015). In glioma, there is a strong synergistic effect together with checkpoint blockade (vom Berg et al. 2013). We are interested in neuroimmunology and local immunotherapy with a focus on brain cancer. In particular we want to A) understand the local immunosuppressive microenvironment of gliomas and the reversal of it into a local inflammatory hotspot enabling an effective anti-glioma immune response. We want to understand the exact chain of events during and after such an immune response triggered by (combination-) immunotherapy and eventually create therapeutics. For this we are developing genetic reporter systems to non-invasively monitor the change in composition of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes during immunotherapy from local immunosuppression to local inflammation and B) optimizing candidate molecules to trigger this conversion.