This Concerted Action was focused on research aiming at improving systemic cancer treatment based on immunotherapy. In contrast to ongoing immunotherapy approaches, emphasis was given to the combination (rather than independent use) of antibodies and effector lymphocytes.
The goal of the Concerted action was two-fold:
1. to combine the forces of the European laboratories presently involved in studies of antibody-dependant cell-mediated lysis in vitro in a coordinated effort to further define the molecular and cellular requirements for efficient cancer cell destruction.
2. to initiate clinical trials at several European cancer centers using the same protocol and reagents.
The participating laboratories were asked to share unpublished data, reagents and experimental protocols regarding the various model systems of bispecific antibody-dependent T cell-mediated cytolytic activity under study. Several in vitro systems were selected for further analysis by the participating laboratories in order to determine the various parameters influencing the efficiency of cancer cell destruction. Particular emphasis was given to the development of new procedures for the preparation of suitable bispecific antibodies as well as to the large-scale expansion of effector lymphocytes required for this form of therapy. Concomitantly, protocols for assessing the effect of this new treatment in colorectal cancer and in ovarian cancer were prepared and submitted to ethical committees of the participating cancer centers.