Osteosarcoma is the most common pediatric/adolescent bone tumor and remains an unmet medical need as the therapeutic landscape and survival rates for these patients have remained unchanged in over three decades. While the genomic alterations that drive osteosarcoma have been well documented, studies regarding the molecular and cellular composition of the osteosarcoma microenvironment and the immunosuppressive mechanisms therein are scarce. This lack of knowledge underlies the clinical observations that patients with advanced/metastatic osteosarcoma have largely demonstrated poor responses to immune checkpoint inhibition. It stands to reason that an increased comprehension of the osteosarcoma microenvironment (both immune and non-immune) will elucidate the mechanisms associated with the observed immunotherapeutic inefficacy and identify rational actionable therapeutic targets for subsequent clinical translation.
The overall objective of my laboratory is to thoroughly investigate the dynamic relationships between tumor cells and their tissue-specific microenvironments to identify and functionally validate actionable molecular and/or cellular targets for clinical translation. Our primary focus is to reveal the tumor cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms that promote immune evasion in metastatic osteosarcoma by using syngeneic murine models and clinically annotated patient specimens.
Given the highly translational nature of the Pediatric Oncology Branch, we aim to use the data from these investigations as the rationale for further clinical investigations.
Dr. McEachron earned his doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and at the Translational Genomics Research Institute. In 2016, Dr. McEachron joined the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Translational Genomics (primary appointment) and the Department of Pediatrics (secondary appointment). Dr. McEachron joined the Pediatric Oncology Branch in 2021.
Dr. McEachron has been the recipient of various fellowships and awards including the Minority Access to Research Careers Fellowship, the AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship, the UNCF/Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship, the AACR Minority and Minority-serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award, and the ThermoFisher Scientific Cancer Research Award. Dr. McEachron has also received grant funding from the NCI, the Concern Foundation, STOP Cancer, and the American Cancer Society.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Genetics and Genomics
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
This page was last updated on Thursday, August 11, 2022