Program IMAGINE on osteosarcoma

Program on osteosarcoma

Implementing MAgnetic targeting of nano-Guided ImmuNE cells 

Osteosarcoma is one of the most challenging paediatric tumours in oncology. It is the most common bone cancer in children with an aggressive clinical course accounting for 10 to 14% of all childhood, adolescent and young adult cancers. In the last 30 years, there have been no improvements in treatment and survival with a 5-year rate of 20% in those children who develop metastasis. Immunotherapy is a treatment that attempts to strengthen the natural ability of the immune system to fight cancer. Also described as “living drugs”, immune effector cells are isolated and genetically manipulated to express a specific receptor against the tumour cells, called chimeric antigen receptor. These receptors allow effector cells to recognise specific proteins on the tumour surface and destroy them. These therapies have given amazing results in blood cancer patients, both children and adults with no other treatment option. However, this success has not been replicated in patients with solid tumours. This is mainly due to the barrier posed by the hostile microenvironment surrounding the tumour that prevents migration of effector cells so diminishing their anti-tumour function. In IMAGINE we want to overcome this barrier in paediatric osteosarcoma using an innovative, inexpensive, non-invasive and easy to implement approach where effector cells are loaded with magnetic nanoparticles that can be guided to the tumour through a magnetic field and improving their therapeutic efficacy. This approach not only will increase the concentration of effector cells at the tumour site but will minimise toxicities on healthy tissues which is one of the main concerns with current cytotoxic therapies. Our ultimate goal is to translate our findings into phase I clinical trial an increase in the survival rates and quality of life of these disadvantage group of patients.

Main Investigator: Antonio Pérez-Martínez, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology in La Paz Hospital University, in Madrid (Spain)
Countries involved: Spain, France, Norway