Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is caused by mutations in a specific protein called "Merlin." These mutations lead to development of tumors throughout the nervous system and current treatment options are not enough to treat most patients suffering from this disease. Researchers on this project propose that models using patient derived cells or tumors can accelerate therapy development. Models using patient derived cells are tissues grown in a lab that can be used to test various therapies without impacting a living patient’s health. However, to complete this work researchers need access to high quality cell and tumor specimens. Researchers hypothesize that immune cells can be used to target tumors and would like to utilize currently available immune cell samples to create models and test this hypothesis. Additionally, these samples will provide researchers with an opportunity to identify other targets that can be used to develop new treatments and therapeutic options. The Children’s Brain Tumor Network has the high quality samples needed for researchers to complete this work. The objective is to share patient skin derived fibroblasts, induced Schwann cells, and tumor cells between CBTN and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH). Dr. Meyer’s lab will have access to frozen tumor samples as well as tumor cell lines from NF2 patients and patients suffering from other forms of cancer through access to the CBTN biorepository. The Meyer lab is also receiving skin biopsies from NF2 patients which NCH will share with CBTN. This collaborative research will serve to bolster the development of novel therapies for these severe diseases, opening more options for patients.
What are the goals of this project?
Researchers hope to verify immune cells can be used to target NF2 tumor cells in the development of new immunotherapy treatments.
What is the impact of this project?
If hypothesized immune cell targets prove usable, this work could advance and expand therapeutic options for patients suffering from NF2 related tumors.
Why is the CBTN request important to this project?
Researchers must have access to high quality specimens to carry out and verify their work, specimens made accessible through collaboration with CBTN.