National Pediatric Cancer Foundation® (NPCF™) Announces $250,000 For Advancing Rhabdomyosarcoma Research To Promote Improved Immunotherapy Response

TAMPA, Florida, April 8, 2024: NPCF has awarded Nicolas J. Llosa, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, $250,000 for his work aimed at understanding the tumor microenvironment (TME) of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) tumors to maximize the potential of immunotherapy as a more effective and less toxic treatment for the disease.

RMS is a devastating malignancy; outcomes for patients with high-risk disease are dismal and have not improved in three decades. Immunotherapy holds great potential for improving outcomes.

Dr. Llosa and team has found that in RMS tumors, certain immune cells gather inorganized groups called tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS). These structures, similar to mini lymph nodes, seem to influence how well patients respond to treatment, but they don’t fully understand their role.

“The support provided by NPCF is invaluable to our research. With this backing, we can delve deeper into understanding RMS and TLS, potentially leading to personalized immunotherapies. This grant will enable us to uncover the mechanisms behind TLS formation and their stimulation, bringing us closer to finding a cure for RMS”, said Dr. Llosa.

About National Pediatric Cancer Foundation

The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer through the Sunshine Project, the Foundation’s collaborative research initiative. By partnering with doctors and researchers from the country’s top institutions, the Sunshine Project is fast-tracking the development of new drugs and therapies that will ultimately lead to the cure of childhood cancers. The NPCF has received a perfect 100% score for financial health and transparency and is recognized as the top-rated cancer charity in the U.S. by Charity Navigator. For more information, visit or connect via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Individuals can also directly donate to the cause through the website.

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