The translational research team at the Department of Cellular Therapy headed by Prof. Gunnar Kvalheim participates in developing new immunotherapy treatments for cancer. This includes the clinical development and testing of improved cancer vaccines and adoptive T cell therapy.
The Department of Cellular Therapy is home to one of Europe’s biggest and most modern GMP facilities for cellular products and is currently also involved in producing cellular products for a clinical trial in Munich. The large scale GMP-certified T-cell culture technique developed at this facility will also constitute the backbone for the planned Phase I/II clinical trials in adoptive T-cell therapy.
The department has concentrated its translational research activities in the clinical research group which is comprised of the Immunomonitoring Unit and the Molecular Biology service (Dept. of Cellular Therapy/Dept. of Cancer Immunology-Lymphoma group-ICR).
The Immunomonitoring Unit is responsible for testing of immune responses in vaccinated cancer patients as well as running functional assays and pre-clinical in vivo studies of redirected T cells.
The analysis of the immune response against cancer vaccines/tumour antigens in blood samples from patients treated with immunotherapy before and after treatment allows a better understanding of 1) the underlying mechanisms of action of the immunotherapy 2) the prognostic value of immunological parameters and 3) the use of new knowledge about immune parameters to design improved immunotherapy treatments.
The Molecular Biology service works hand in hand with the Immunomonitoring Unit and collect the patient material that can be used to isolate potential therapeutic antigen receptors.
WATCH MOVIE OF T-CELLS KILLING TARGET CELLS.
Credit: Immunmonitoring Unit at Oslo University Hospital