Partnership Opportunities

Immunotherapy for High-Risk Neuroblastoma

Immune checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T therapies for relapsed pediatric solid tumors

Technology Overview

Navin PintoDr. Navin PintoDr. Navin Pinto’s research is focused on treatment of relapsed pediatric solid tumors, particularly high-risk neuroblastoma. With approximately 600 cases diagnosed per year, neuroblastoma is a rare pediatric cancer that affects the sympathetic nervous system in the adrenal glands, abdomen, and chest. High-risk neuroblastoma is currently treated with surgery, radiation, high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation and monoclonal antibody therapy. Dr. Pinto is working to improve outcomes by finding new therapies and prognostic indicators for high-risk neuroblastoma. 

Dr. Pinto has recently worked to establish the pattern of expression of immune checkpoints in pediatric solid tumors to determine if they will respond to this type of immunotherapy. He is the primary investigator for a large international clinical trial for the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in pediatrics (KEYNOTE-51). Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a class of immunotherapy drugs that allow for an increased response of the immune system against tumor cells. These monoclonal antibodies block the interaction and activity of immune checkpoints, which are upregulated on the surface of tumor cells.

Additionally, Dr. Pinto is collaborating with Seattle Children’s oncologists Drs. Julie Park and Michael Jensen on the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma. CAR T-cell therapy utilizes the patient’s own T-cells, engineered with a chimeric antigen receptor for the tumor cell, to increase the immune response against these cells.

Dr. Pinto would be interested in projects with industry partners on novel therapeutics for relapsed pediatric solid tumors, including high-risk neuroblastoma, sarcoma, kidney, and liver cancers. Such treatments include immunotherapy or the use of pharmacogenomics and precision medicine for prognostic biomarkers of disease.

Stage of Development

  • Pre-clinical ex vivo

Partnering Opportunities

  • Collaborative research opportunity
  • Sponsored research agreement
  • Consultation agreement
  • High throughput screening
  • Tissue sample access
  • Clinical trials


  1. Pinto N, Park JR, Murphy E, Yearley J, McClanahan T, Annamalai L, Hawkins DS, Rudzinski ER. Patterns of PD-1, PD-L1, and PD-L2 expression in pediatric solid tumorsPediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Pinto NR, Applebaum MA, Volchenboum SL, Matthay KK, London WB, Ambros PF, Nakagawara A, Berthold F, Schleiermacher G, Park JR, Valteau-Couanet D, Pearson AD, Cohn SL. Advances in Risk Classification and Treatment Strategies for NeuroblastomaJournal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2015; 33: 3008-17. 
  3. Pinto N, Gamazon ER, Antao N, Myers J, Stark AL, Konkashbaev A, Im HK, Diskin SJ, London WB, Ludeman SM, Maris JM, Cox NJ, Cohn SL, Dolan ME. Integrating cell-based and clinical genome-wide studies to identify genetic variants contributing to treatment failure in neuroblastoma patientsClin Pharmacol Ther. 2014; 95: 644-52.
  4. Gamazon ER, Pinto N, Konkashbaev A, Im HK, Diskin SJ, London WB, Maris JM, Dolan ME, Cox NJ, Cohn SL. Trans-population analysis of genetic mechanisms of ethnic disparities in neuroblastoma survivalJ Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105: 302-9.

Learn More

To learn more about partnering with Seattle Children’s Research Institute on this or other projects, email the Office of Science-Industry Partnerships