Refining cancer cell death and danger signals for the improvement of immunotherapy

EOS 30837538
01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Morphological sciences
    • Oncology
    • Morphological sciences
    • Oncology
    • Morphological sciences
    • Oncology
cancer cell death
Project description

Interaction between dying cancer cells and the immune cells is crucial for eliciting productive
antitumor immunity that ultimately dictates the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Cell deathassociated
immunostimulatory signals (e.g. danger signals), clearance of cell corpses, tumor
antigen availability and antigen processing/presentation by antigen-presenting cells (APCs),
dictate the immunogenic and antigenic potential of dying cancer cells. However, a severe gapin-
knowledge exists with regards to the exact molecular nature/composition of danger signals
linked to different cancer cell death pathways induced by anticancer treatments (e.g.
apoptosis, necroptosis or ferroptosis) and the mechanistic aspects of tumor antigens sensing
by APCs/T cells in a cell death-context. A systematic analysis addressing these outstanding
open questions is required for improving the efficacy of biomarkers-driven cancer
immunotherapy. The EOS consortium DECODE strives to provide robust mechanistic and
preclinical evidence to support the main hypothesis that immunogenic forms of anticancer
therapy-induced cell death preserve tumor antigens and deliver a precise constellation of
danger signals, which are properly decoded by the immune system thereby fostering
antitumor immunity. Our major aim is to integrate the study of molecular, immunological and
antigenic processes operating at the interface of dying cancer cells and immune cells, and
decipher their exact relationship with antitumor immunity.