Elias Sayour, MD, PhD
University of Florida
CureSearch Catapult Award: 2020-2022
Focus: High-grade glioma
Project Title: RNA-nanoparticle vaccines for pediatric high-grade glioma
Project Overview: Primary high-grade gliomas (pHGGs) in children are almost uniformly lethal. While there is promise for immunotherapy, gliomas are overwhelmingly immunosuppressive, posing an access and activity challenge for the immune activation required for immunotherapy. Dr. Sayour and colleagues have developed a novel treatment platform which leverages the use of nanoparticles (NPs) combined with messenger RNA (mRNA) taken from the patient’s tumor to make a product that functions as both a vaccine and an agent that is capable of increasing activity of the immune system. To facilitate translation of this promising technology into first-in-human studies for pHGG, Dr. Sayour and colleagues have partnered with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), where their clinical trial concept was accepted for multi-institutional trial development.
Project Update: In early September 2022, Dr. Sayour validated a starting phase 1 dose level for pediatric patients, and is now seeking to enroll pediatric glioma patients at the University of Florida. The project is on track to then enroll pediatric patients throughout the country shortly thereafter in collaboration with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC).