CRI Funded Scientists

Qilin Zhang, MD, CRI-Chordoma Foundation CLIP Investigator

Huashan Hospital, Fudan University (China)

Area of Research: Sarcoma

Dr. Qilin Zhang is exploring the immune microenvironment of skull base to identify effective immunotherapy targets and translate them into clinical practice.  

Skull base chordoma is a rare and aggressive bone cancer with limited effective options due to the high rate of resistance to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and the lack of effective targeted drugs. Total resection is also usually limited, resulting in a high recurrence rate and repeated surgeries. To address the challenge, Dr. Zhang is utilizing multi-parameter sequences technologies on patient samples to uncover the cellular hierarchy’s skull-base chordoma. By comparing the tumor-infiltrating immune cells and tumor microenvironment with matched cells from healthy humans, he seeks to characterize their traits and establish a novel immune-related molecular classification of these chordomas. Dr. Zhang suspects there may be corresponding targets within each subtype, and his rigorous work will evaluate the clinical potential of such strategies. Ultimately, Dr. Zhang hopes his work could usher in a future where, shortly after someone has a biopsy or surgery, their tumor samples could be analyzed to determine their subtype and the appropriate course of immunotherapy, enabling personalized and precise immunotherapy treatment for those with skull basic chordoma. 

Projects and Grants

Integration of single-cell profiling and multi-omics sequencing data guides immunotherapy in skull base chordoma

Huashan Hospital, Fudan University | Sarcoma | 2023

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