Human malignancies frequently elicit specific adaptive immune responses. In the last years, numerous tumor-associated antigens recognized by CD8+ and CD4+ T cells have been identified, providing an essential knowledge for the development of T-cell based immunotherapies for cancer. The recent approval of checkpoint inhibitor antibodies and of Sipuleucel-T as immunotherapeuticals is further stimulating the entire field. But the road ahead is still arduous, and the optimal target antigens, adjuvants, as well as the strategies to circumvent T-cell tolerization are the subject of extensive research efforts.
Our aim is to contribute to the understanding of immune responses against cancer and to apply this knowledge in immunotherapy. We are focusing on the description of adaptive T-and B-immune responses in cancer patients, either before or during therapy including immunotherapy. Fine subsets of T cells are investigated at the phenotypic and functional levels. We also investigate the antibody response, as well as further immune cell subsets interacting with human tumors.
In addition, we are a founding member and co-organiser of the CIMT Immunoguiding Program (CIP). The main objective of this international working group is to evaluate, compare and improve the sensitivity and reproducibility of the techniques applied in immunomonitoring, and thus to contribute to accelerate progresses in the field.