Verification of a neuroblastoma and the GD2 target structure for modern immunotherapies

In cooperation with

General Paediatrics, Haematology / Oncology Children’s hospital Tübingen


Neuroblastoma is the most common solid, extracranial tumour in childhood, and is the second most common cancer-related cause of death in childhood (11%).

A new immunotherapy, in which ch14.18 bind antibodies to GD2-positive neuroblastoma tumour cells, in combination with cytokines that additionally activate cells of the immune system, can significantly improve the survival of neuroblastoma patients.

The test is intended to detect neuroblastomas, but it can also be used to determine whether the tumour cells carry the GD2 antigens required for immunotherapy. Since the immune therapies show strong side effects for the treatment of neuroblastomas, it is sensible to make a diagnostic determination as to whether the preconditions are fulfilled so that the therapy can show the desired success. With after-care, a test also offers the possibility to detect possible recurrences at an early stage, which can then be treated immediately.


Prof. Dr. med. Rupert Handgretinger is the Medical Director of Haematology / Oncology at the University Hospital of Tübingen. In 2011, he received the State Research Prize Baden-Württemberg for applied research. His research interests are immunotherapies for the treatment of malignant diseases in childhood.

In a joint research project, we are developing a blood test for the detection of neuroblastomas and the detection of GD2 on the surface of tumour cells. These serve as a target structure for novel immunotherapies with neuroblastoma.