Project

Combatting multiple myeloma using Galsome immunotherapy

Duration
01 October 2019 → 20 December 2020
Funding
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Oncology not elsewhere classified
Keywords
mRNA alpha-alactosylceramide Cancer immunotherapy Multiple Myeloma NKT cell Nanomedicine cancer vaccine
 
Project description

Despite the recent revolution in the treatment of multiple myeloma
(MM), this remains an incurable disease, as most patients ultimately
relapse. Even the otherwise very promising cancer immunotherapy
has not yet been able to live up to its reputation in this type of cancer.
Therefore, this project aims to evaluate a nanomedicine, termed
“Galsomes”for immune therapy in MM. Upon infusion, these
nanoscopic particles are able to specifically target immune cells, and
simultaneously deliver genetic material encoding tumor antigens and
glycolipids that can activate natural killer T (NKT) cells. In previous
research, we have shown that in solid tumor models, Galsomes can
trigger broad and potent immune responses. This could be of
particular interest in blood cancers, such as MM, since NKT cells play
an even bigger part in the defense against these malignant cells.
Therefore, this project aims to first determine the specific contribution
of the direct anti-tumoral effects of NKT cells in the overall immune
response to Galsomes. Then, we aim to investigate which particular
immune responses occur in MM, and how these can be boosted by
rational combinations of Galsomes with approved and possibly
synergistic therapies for MM. Finally, we aim to translate the
preclinical data to a human setting, by investigating if Galsomes are
still capable of triggering an immune response in the blood of
patients suffering from different stages of MM compared to healthy
volunteers.