Rochelle Bagatell Research Program
Led by Rochelle Bagatell, MD, researchers in the Bagatell Research Program are focused on clinically evaluating new targeted cancer treatments and immunotherapies to treat children with relapsed and refractory neuroblastomas. The long-term goal of the research is to develop new treatments for high-risk pediatric neuroblastomas that are more effective and less toxic than existing therapies.
Ongoing studies in the Bagatell Research Program are investigating the use of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells redirected against GD2 (an antigen that is over expressed on neuroblastoma cells) as an immunotherapy to treat refractory and relapsed pediatric neuroblastomas. Unlike most other CAR T cells, GD2-redirected CART cells (CART-GD2) were genetically engineered to have short circulating half-lives to protect normal brain tissue from immunoinflammatory responses that may occur during treatment.
Researchers are currently evaluating the use of CART-GD2 in a dose range-finding Phase 1 clinical trial as a treatment for children with relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma.
Other studies are evaluating the use of infusions of radioactive iodine coupled to MIBG (meta-iodobenzylguandine) as a targeted cancer treatment for high-risk pediatric neuroblastomas. Neuroblastoma cells selectively take up radioiodinated MIBG, which subsequently results in tumor cell death. Currently, researchers in the Bagatell Research Program are evaluating the use of radioiodinated MIBG in a Phase III clinical trial as a treatment for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.
Future studies will continue to focus on identifying and clinically evaluating more effective and less toxic treatments for children with high-risk neuroblastomas.