Orthopaedic Oncology Lab



The Orthopaedics Oncology group approaches osteosarcoma (OS) from a systemic, immunological perspective. The lab focuses on the development of novel immunotherapeutics and treatment strategies for combatting metastatic disease. The group is adept at treating patients’ primary tumors via surgical intervention combined with neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy. However, metastasis to the lungs still occurs in 80% of cases and is the most common cause of osteosarcoma related mortality. With 5-year survival rates for patients presenting with metastatic disease as low as 19%, improved treatments must be developed for this deadly disease.

The laboratory is currently pursuing four complimentary projects—the optimization of nanoparticle delivery vehicles for cytokine-based immunotherapy, predictive immunology through machine learning and multimodal immune diagnostic platforms (IDPs), next-generation spatial immunophenotyping of OS primary/metastatic lesions, and uncovering differences in immunosurveillance amongst OS patients. Utilizing patented nanotechnology, the laboratory produces cytokine loaded drug delivery vehicles capable of mitigating the toxic side-effects historically associated with systemic cytokine therapy. Simultaneously, leveraging cutting edge spectral flow cytometry, RNAseq, plasma cytokine analysis, and peripheral immune cell metabolomics, the group focuses to monitor disease progression and treatment efficacy in both osteosarcoma animal models and human sarcoma patients. Collectively, the multifaceted approach seeks to combat clinical problems that are encountered daily to improve available treatment strategies for individuals suffering from metastatic osteosarcoma and other pleomorphic solid tumors.


  • Uncovering differences in immunosurveillance amongst OS patients
  • Predictive Immunology and Diagnostic Platforms
  • Spatial Immunophenotyping of OS Primary and Metastatic Lesions


  • Ryan Lacinski (MD/PhD candidate): Ryan Lacinski has worked in the Oncology Group since 2019. He helped develop the current IL-12 loaded PLGA nanospheres (IL12ns) and immune diagnostic platforms (IDPs) to track immunostimulatory therapy response. Mr. Lacinski has successfully published a book chapter, first author paper, and has been included as an inventor on two patent applications covering the development of IL12ns and IDPs. He is currently studying how IDPs can be used to predict IL12ns response and curtail immunotoxicity in future clinical trials.