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Principles of Cell-Based Tumor Therapy

Immunotherapy of cancer by tumor vaccines is aimed to modulate the immune system of the patient to recognize and, thereafter, destroy tumor cells. In contrast to the use of chemotherapeutics the application of tumor vaccines has only minor side effects.

Cell line POBE was established of primary tumor material of a renal cell carcinoma. This cell line is used as starting material for the manufacturing of the tumor vaccine called “MGN1601”. During production process the cells are genetically modified to express CD80, CD154 (two co-stimulatory molecules) and GM-CSF and IL-7 (two cytokines). Tumor vaccine MGN1601 is used in a clinical trial (EudraCT No. 2009-016853-16).

The aim of this project is to gain further insight into the characteristics of POBE cells including the changes induces during the manufacturing (transfection, irradiation) of MGN1601. Besides the characterization and comparison of POBE cells and MGN1601 on RNA and protein level the particular focus is on the immunological relevant properties of POBE cells.  First of all tumor associated antigens or rather tumor specific cell surface antigens are potential candidates to induce tumor specific immune response in the vaccinated patients. The increase in knowledge will be used to optimize and reorganize POBE cells.
Furthermore, primary cells originating of various types of tumors are stored at the institute and will be analyzed for their potential use as starting material for cell-based tumor vaccines.

Fields of research activities to identify and improve issues of POBE cells relevant for their Mode of Action (MoA).