Anandani Nellan headshot

Anandani Nellan, M.D., M.P.H.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Pediatric Oncology Branch


Brain tumors are the most common cause of death in childhood cancers. T cell immunotherapy is a promising approach to target pediatric brain tumors by enhancing the immune system to kill malignant cells. Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are synthetic receptors that redirect T cells to recognize proteins expressed on tumor cells. CAR T cell therapy has been very effective in hematologic malignancies and early results treating brain tumors show promise. 

Our lab’s goal is to develop innovative immunotherapy strategies for high-risk pediatric CNS tumors. Current projects focus on designing novel CAR T cells and evaluating mechanisms of response and resistance to immunotherapy by studying the tumor-immune microenvironment. We ultimately hope to translate promising preclinical findings to the clinic for children and young adults with CNS tumors.

Areas of Expertise

Information for Patients

Learn more about our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams that lead them. 


Selected Key Publications

Durable regression of Medulloblastoma after regional and intravenous delivery of anti-HER2 chimeric antigen receptor T cells.

Nellan A, Rota C, Majzner R, Lester-McCully CM, Griesinger AM, Mulcahy Levy JM, Foreman NK, Warren KE, Lee DW.
J Immunother Cancer. 6(1): 30, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Improved CNS exposure to tocilizumab after cerebrospinal fluid compared to intravenous administration in rhesus macaques.

Nellan A, McCully CML, Cruz Garcia R, Jayaprakash N, Widemann BC, Lee DW, Warren KE.
Blood. 132(6): 662-666, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

CAR T Cells Targeting B7-H3, a Pan-Cancer Antigen, Demonstrate Potent Preclinical Activity Against Pediatric Solid Tumors and Brain Tumors

Majzner RG, Theruvath JL, Nellan A, Heitzeneder S, Cui Y, Mount CW, Rietberg SP, Linde MH, Xu P, Rota C, Sotillo E, Labanieh L, Lee DW, Orentas RJ, Dimitrov DS, Zhu Z, Croix BS, Delaidelli A, Sekunova A, Bonvini E, Mitra SS, Quezado MM, Majeti R, Monje M, Sorensen PHB, Maris JM, Mackall CL.
Clin Cancer Res. 25(8): 2560-2574, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Analysis Reveals BRAF V600E Mutations Are Infrequent in Isolated Pituitary Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Patients

Nellan A, Bodlak A, Mirsky DM, Mulcahy Levy J, Garrington TP, Foreman NK, Gilani A, Hayashi M.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 79(12): 1313-1319, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Retrospective analysis of combination carboplatin and vinblastine for pediatric low-grade glioma

Nellan A, Wright E, Campbell K, Davies KD, Donson AM, Amani V, Judd A, Hemenway MS, Raybin J, Foreman NK, Rush S, Dorris K.
J Neurooncol. 148(3): 569-575, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

We have no open positions in our group at this time, please check back later.

To see all available positions at CCR, take a look at our Careers page. You can also subscribe to receive CCR's latest job and training opportunities in your inbox.


Learn more about CCR research advances, new discoveries and more
on our news section.