Project leader: Dr. N.F. de Miranda
Our group combines expertise in immunology and genetics with the aim of developing innovative therapies that are focused on stimulating a patient’s immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. Currently we have two major research lines:
1) The development of neoantigen-targeted therapies for patients diagnosed with cancers with low mutational burden:
Checkpoint blockade immunotherapies are mostly applicable for cancers with high mutation burden. Our group is trying to develop strategies that activate immune responses in poorly immunogenic tumors by using cancer mutated antigens (neoantigens) as therapeutic targets. For this, exomes and transcriptomes are screened by next-generation sequencing technologies and mutated proteins are tested for their ability to induce immune responses in T cells derived from patients.
2) Deep immunophenotyping of colorectal cancers and discovery of immune cell subsets with anti-tumor activity
The make-up of a tumor’s immune microenvironment is highly complex and diverse, particularly in cancers originating in mucosal tissues. We apply state-of-the-art single cell and imaging mass cytometry as well as spectral immunofluorescence to comprehensively characterize immunophenotypes in colorectal and pancreatic cancer. To date, we have discovered immune cell subsets that might carry important anti-tumor capacity and which could be exploited from a therapeutic point of view.
Within the LUMC the research is embedded within the research profile area Cancer Pathogenesis and Therapy