Induction of safe but potent anti-tumour responses via lymph node focused nanoparticle-mediated immune activation

01 January 2017 → 31 December 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other biological sciences
    • Other natural sciences
Project description

To instruct the immune system of cancer patients at recognizing and eliminating malignant cells is an intensively investigate track in current experimental medicine. Several clinical trials that involve vaccination with tumour associated antigens (i.e. proteins or peptides that are over-expressed by tumours) obtained promising results, but are still experiencing limited efficacy. Besides the tumor suppressive environment –that is currently being tackled using immune checkpoint blockers –one of the major bottlenecks in anti-tumour vaccination is the lack of efficiency by which tumor associated antigens reach and activate immune cells in lymphatic tissue. With respect to activating immune cells, small molecule compounds have been discovered that are very potent in activating immune cells, but are prone to systemic toxicity. In this proposal we describe a nanotechnology based approach to targeted vaccines composed of a tumour associated antigen and small molecule immune-activator to lymphatic tissue. Using this system we aim at exploring the possibility to prevent or eradicate tumour growth in mouse models for melanoma.