Researchers Erlend Strønen, Johanna Olweus and the Immunotherapy Jebsen Center in Oslo’s work on a breakthrough methodological development in generating broad and tumour-specific T-cell immune responses has been published in the journal Science.
The researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and University of Oslo/Oslo University Hospital show that even if one’s own immune cells cannot recognize and fight their tumors, someone else’s immune cells might. The study shows that adding mutated DNA from cancer cells into immune stimulating cells from healthy donors create an immune response in the healthy immune cells. Inserting the targeted components from the donor immune cells back into the immune cells of the cancer patients, the researchers were able to make cancer patients’ own immune cells recognize cancer cells.
The work is based on a novel allogeneic approach and this is a powerful technological development which can in the relatively near future be subjected to clinical testing.
“Our study shows that the principle of outsourcing cancer immunity to a donor is sound. However, more work needs to be done before patients can benefit from this discovery. Thus, we need to find ways to enhance the throughput. We are currently exploring high-throughput methods to identify the neo-antigens that the T cells can “see” on the cancer and isolate the responding cells. But the results showing that we can obtain cancer-specific immunity from the blood of healthy individuals are already very promising,” says Johanna Olweus to Science Daily.
This research was performed within the K.G.Jebsen Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, at the University of Oslo/ Oslo University Hospital and The Netherlands Cancer Institute.
Image: SEM of healthy human T-cell, Source: Wikipedia