Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment (TIME)
The TIME group aims to define innovative strategies to reprogram the tumor immune landscape and switch “cold” into “hot” tumors.
Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as a revolutionary treatment for many aggressive cancers for which conventional therapies have failed. However, this enthusiastic vision has been seriously challenged by clinical data indicating that only a few numbers of patients benefit from durable clinical remissions, while the majority have a short-term benefit or no benefit at all.
The strategic priority of TIME group relies on discovering druggable targets in tumor cells and pathways in the tumor microenvironment that are able to improve the benefit of cancer immunotherapy by reprogramming cold immune desert tumors into hot inflamed immune infiltrated tumors.
Therefore, TIME research activities are at the forefront of translating basic knowledge into clinical application. To fulfill the strategic priority and strengthen the translational aspect of its research activities, TIME group has established collaboration with leading cancer centers in Europe and biotech and pharma companies.
The ultimate aim of the TIME group is to address the unmet clinical needs by providing the proof of concept to set up innovative clinical trials, which take full advantage of the impressive value of cancer immunotherapy.
Projects & clinical trials
Some of the group’s research projects include:
- Effect of targeting hypoxia-induced autophagy in the improvement of the anti-tumour immune response in vivo
- Investigation of the autophagy-dependent mechanism involved in the regulation of tumour cell susceptibility to immune cell-mediated killing under hypoxic stress
- Study of the temporal dynamic of immune cells infiltrating autophagy competent or defective hypoxic tumours
- Improving T-cell and Macrophage Immune checkpoint blockades by combining autophagy inhibitors, COMBATIC (FNR CORE)
- Improving the cancer immunotherapy by targeting hypoxia (Roche Pharma)
- Improving cancer immunotherapy based on anti-PD-1 and STING agonists by combining small innovative molecules, SMART COMBO (FNR BRIDGES – Sprint Bioscience)
- Assessment the impact of selective ALDH1 inhibitors on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and the therapeutic benefit of Immune checkpoint blockers, TRICKALDH (FNR BRIDGES – Advanced BioDesign)
Featured team members
Hypoxia as a potential inducer of immune tolerance, tumor plasticity and a driver of tumor mutational burden – 28/11/2023
Lighting Up the Fire in the Microenvironment of Cold Tumors – 05/07/2023
Nanoluciferase-based complementation assays to monitor activation, modulation and signaling of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) – 24/12/2022
Prevention of acute GVHD disease using an orthogonal IL-2/IL-2Rβ system to selectively expand regulatory T-cells in vivo – 23/12/2022
Dual blockage of both PD-L1 and CD47 enhances the therapeutic effect of oxaliplatin and FOLFOX in CT-26 mice tumor model – 11/02/2023
A role for EMT in CD73 regulation in breast cancer – 30/11/2022
The β-carboline Harmine improves the therapeutic benefit of anti-PD1 in melanoma by increasing the MHC-I-dependent antigen presentation – 15/11/2022
Hypoxia features as potential indicators in prognosis, immunotherapy and drug screening in hepatocellular carcinoma patients – 12/10/2022
Improving neuroblastoma therapy by targeting intratumoral hypoxia and immune checkpoint PD-L1 – 23/09/2022
SNAI1-dependent upregulation of CD73 increases extracellular adenosine release to mediate immune suppression in TNBC – 09/09/2022
Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow in Immuno-oncology Research (MC/SPDR0723/BJ/TIME)
Department of Cancer Research – Tumor Microenvironment