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Nicolas Jose Llosa, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Languages: English, Spanish
Expertise: Bone Marrow Transplant, Pediatric Oncology, Stem Cell Transplants
Research Interests: Pediatric cancer - Sarcomas - Cancer Immunology
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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)
APPOINTMENT PHONE: 410-955-8751
1800 Orleans St. The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center Building, 11th Floor Baltimore, MD 21287
As instructor of oncology and pediatrics, Llosa’s research focus is the immunotherapy of sarcomas.
My research focuses on understanding how the immune system interacts with cancer cells from sarcoma tumors. Sarcoma is a type of cancer that can occur in various locations in the body. Sarcoma is the general term for a broad group of cancers that includes tumors that form in the bones and in the soft (also called connective) tissues. Sarcomas affect people of all ages and some, such as Rhabdomyosarcoma, Neuroblastoma, Ewings sarcoma and Osteosarcoma, are more common in children and young adults. Treatments for sarcoma vary depending on tumor type, location and other factors. I concentrate in the immunotherapy of sarcomas. Immunotherapy (also called biologic therapy or biotherapy) is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body's natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Immunotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, stopping cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, or helping the immune system increase its effectiveness at eliminating cancer cells. There are several types of immunotherapy, including monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immunotherapies, and cancer vaccines. My specific area of interest is the use of drugs that target immune system checkpoints. The immune system has checkpoints to keep itself from attacking other normal cells in the body. Cancer cells sometimes take advantage of these checkpoints to avoid being attacked by the immune system. CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 are checkpoint molecules found on immune system cells (T cells) that can be blocked with drugs leading to a general raise in the immune system of the patients which helps it attack cancer cells. These types of drugs are currently being given to patients with melanoma (skin cancer), lung cancer and kidney cancer with great success and they have been found to shrink advanced tumors in many people. The best part of the treatment is that many of these tumor responses have been long-lasting so far, and the side effects are generally less serious than when using chemotherapy. Larger clinical trials are now studying both drugs, both alone and/or in combination with other treatments. My task is and will continue to be using the same type of approach for attacking sarcomas and hopefully obtained the very promising results and long lasting responses observed with the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in other types of cancer.
- Assistant Professor of Oncology
- Instructor of Pediatrics
- MD, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (2001)
- Tufts-New England Medical Center Hospitals / Pediatrics (2009)
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Pediatric Oncology (2014)
- National Institutes of Health / Pediatric Oncology (2014)
Research & Publications
Clinical Trial KeywordsImmunotherapy - Cancer Immunology - Sarcomas
1. Theilacker C., Coleman F.T., Mueschenborn S., Llosa N.J., Grout M., and Pier G.B. Construction and Characterization of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mucoid Exopolysaccharide Alginate Conjugate Vaccine. Infection and Immunity. 2003 Jul;71(7):3875-84.
2. Pier G.B., Boyer D., Preston M., Coleman F.T., Llosa N.J., Mueshenborn- Koglin S., Theilacker C., Goldenberg H., Uchin J, Priebe G.P., Grout M, Posner M, Cavacini L. Human Monoclonal Antibodies to Pseudomonas aeruginosa Alginate That Protect against Infection by both Mucoid and Nonmucoid strains. The Journal of Immunology. 2004. Nov; 173: 5671-5678.
3. Nicolas Llosa MD, Carmina Erdei Grozavescu MD. A teen with persistent painful papules and plaques" - Contemporary Pediatrics Journal, September 1, 2009 issue
Llosa, Nicolás José
4. Llosa NJ, Campodónico VL, Grout M, Doring G, Maira-Litrán T, Pier GB.Evaluation of Flagella versus Flagellin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as Vaccines" Infect. Infection and Immunity. 2010 Feb; 78(2):746-755.
5. Campodónico VL, Llosa NJ, Bentancor L, Maira-Litrán T, Pier GB.Infection and Immunity. Efficacy of a conjugate vaccine containing polymannuronic acid and flagellin against experimental Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection in mice. Infection and Immunity. 2011 Aug;79(8):3455-64
6. Llosa NJ, Geis AL, Thiele-Orberg E, Housseau F. Interleukin-17 and type 17 helper T cells in cancer management and research –ImmunoTargets and Therapy - March 2014 Volume 2014:3 Pages 39—54
7. Llosa NJ, Cruise M, Tam A, Wick EC, Hechenbleikner EM, Taube JM, Blosser L, Fan H, Wang H, Luber B, Zhang M, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Sears CL, Anders RA, Pardoll DM, Housseau F. The vigorous immune microenvironment of microsatellite instable colon cancer is balanced by multiple counter-inhibitory checkpoints - Cancer Discovery. 2014 Oct 30. pii: CD-14-0863
8. Dejea C, Wick E, Hechenbleikner E, White J, Welch JM, Rossetti B, Peterson S, Snesrud E, Borisy G, Lazarev M,Stein E, Vadivelu J, Roslani A, Malik A,Wanyiri J, Fu K, Wan F, Goh KL, Llosa NJ, Housseau F, Katherine R, Vogelstein B, Kinzler K, Pardoll D, Sears C. Microbiota organization rather than composition is an underlying feature of many colorectal cancers" -; PNAS Nov. 2014