New immunotherapy treatment against breast cancer
Hospital del Mar Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain
Immunotherapy uses the body's immune system to fight cancer. It is based on the recognition and destruction of tumour cells by the immune system. The process depends on the function of immune cells and their ability to detect tumour cells. Molecular mechanisms that alter either of these two aspects lead to immune evasion.
Therapies based on checkpoint inhibitors are being used successfully to treat individuals with various types of cancer. However, in patients with breast cancer they have shown limited efficacy. Checkpoint inhibitors work by releasing a natural brake on the immune system so that immune cells, called T-cells, can recognise and attack tumours. These therapies are sometimes referred to as immune checkpoint blockade because the treatment blocks the molecule that acts as a brake on immune cells. One of the main resistance mechanisms to this type of therapies, reported across all types of cancers, is defects in the ability of immune cells to recognise the antigens present on tumour cells.
The team has developed a new messenger RNA-based nanotherapy which, combined with immunotherapy, activates the body's immune system by facilitating the recognition of antigens on tumour cells, making them visible and vulnerable. This enables the immune system to recognise and destroy them. The team has validated the efficacy of the therapy in preclinical studies. The objective now is to take all the necessary steps to be able to conduct the first clinical trial in humans, for which the project will focus on validating the safety of the new treatment, both in vitro and in vivo.
LCOR mRNA NanoTherapies - A paradigm shift in immunotherapies against cancer