- established a GMP facility and gained a manufacturing allowance (Herstellungserlaubnis) for the production of reactivated, autologous T cells for adoptive transfer
- identified new HLA –restricted CD4+ T cell epitopes specific for the breast cancer antigen NY-BR-1 (Int J Cancer, 2015a)
- defined autoantibody responses against tumor antigens as prognostic factors for melanoma (Int J Cancer, 2015b) and other tumor entities
- screened a comprehensive human miRNA library, resulting in identification of novel miRNAs inhibiting or accelerating melanoma cell invasion and in miR-339-3p as a new tumor suppressor (Cancer Research 2016)
- identified miR-137 and miR-101 as inhibitors of melanoma cell invasion (J Invest Dermatol, 2013; Cancer Letters 2013)
Understanding immune responses against cancer...
and translating this knowledge to the clinics.
T cell based immunotherapy approaches against cancer hold great promise, as immunological targeting of “checkpoint inhibitors” yielded impressive results in clinical trials.
Our unit focuses on the processes of T cell mediated tumor rejection in melanoma and breast cancer; we are seeking novel strategies endowing the immune system with the capacity to efficiently eradicate tumor cells.
Using HLA transgenic mice we identified the first CD4+ T cell epitopes specific for the breast cancer associated tumor antigen NY-BR-1, thereby broadening the spectrum of T cell epitopes that could be used for immunotherapy and/or -monitoring of breast cancer patients.
In malignant melanoma, characterized by early metastasis formation and strong chemo-resistance, we determined miRNAs being relevant for both, tumorigenicity and invasive behavior of melanoma cells. Currently, we are investigating miRNA functions in melanoma cells during immunological tumor defense.
„GMP“ stands for „good manufacturing practice“, holding rules for the production of therapeutics according to the German Medicines Act. Our GMP Unit has long-standing experience on the implementation of processing and preparation procedures for adoptive transfer of tumor-specific T cells, according to GMP-guidelines. Since June 2013 we hold official permission for the generation of ex vivo expanded T cell lines for adoptive transfer.
Our group has:
5 most significant publications
- Weber CEM, Luo C, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Gardyan A, Kordaß T, Holland-Letz T, Osen W, and Eichmüller SB (in press) miR-339-3p is a tumor suppressor in melanoma. Cancer Res 76: 3562-3571.
- Gardyan A*, Osen W*, Zörnig I, Podola L, Agarwal M, Aulmann S, Ruggiero E, Schmidt M, Halama N, Leuchs B, von Kalle C, Beckhove P, Schneeweiss A, Jäger D, and Eichmüller SB (2015) Identification of NY-BR-1-specific CD4+ T cell epitopes using HLA-transgenic mice. Int J Cancer 136: 2588-2597.
- Zörnig I, Halama N, Bermejo JL, Ziegelmeier C, Dickes E, Migdoll A, Kaiser I, Waterboer T, Pawlita M, Grabe N, Ugurel S, Schadendorf D, Falk C, Eichmüller SB*, and Jäger D* (2015) Prognostic significance of spontaneous antibody responses against tumor-associated antigens in malignant melanoma patients. Int J Cancer 136: 138-151.
- Luo C, Tetteh PW, Merz PR, Dickes E, Abukiwan A, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Holland-Cunz S, Sinnberg T, Schittek B, Schadendorf D, Diederichs S, and Eichmüller SB (2013) miR-137 inhibits the invasion of melanoma cells through downregulation of multiple oncogenic target genes. J Invest Dermatol 133: 768-775.
- Luo C, Merz PR, Chen Y, Dickes E, Pscherer A, Schadendorf D, and Eichmüller SB (2013) MiR-101 inhibits melanoma cell invasion and proliferation by targeting MITF and EZH2. Cancer Letters 341: 240-247.
Our research is funded by the German Cancer Aid, DKTK, intramural and industrial funds.