Every day cancer takes about 30000 lives worldwide, despite multiple treatments developed in the last 50 years. True revolution in the therapy is demonstrated by the immunooncology relying on multiple routes to activate the immune system, using e.g. Chimeric Antigen Receptors, checkpoints inhibitors. Although demonstrating success in the treatment of e.g. lymphoma, the percentage of patients responding to the immunotherapy is less than 30%. Even more, the activation of immune system does not happen at no cost, leading to severe auto-immune reactions, sometimes with lethal consequences. Therefore, the main question of clinicians is: how to efficiently predict the response/no-response of the patient to the immunotherapy? At present, there is no predictive technological platform combining both, highly sensitive analysis of the cancer immunity and the planning of the strategy for potential therapy.
I consider cancer as a smart self-adapting machine that plays its own set of rules: it generates and quenches the biochemical signals; initiates the iterative loops and builds up feedback controls to create an immune suppressive environment. My idea is to digitalize these mechanisms. ‘ImmunoChip’ will develop a device combining microfluidics with the specific nanosensory network to study elements of the cancer-immunity cycle to bring a new dimension in the field of preclinical immunotherapeutic cancer phenotyping. The information about the immunosuppressive activity of the cancer microenvironment, immune checkpoints, T cells, efficiency of the immunotherapy, will be collected into respective data patterns. The developed ‘ImmunoChip’ platform will help to answer the questions: can the patient be treated with the immunotherapy? How does the tumor protect itself? Which immunotherapy to use? I am sure that improved decision-making in immunotherapy will lead to a transformative treatment results for more patients and will help to save more lives.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme