TRON was established to address the currently inadequate treatment options for diseases with deregulated immunity. These diseases, such cancer, allergies, autoimmune disorders and chronic infections, are widespread and on the rise. While in cancer and chronic infections the immune system fails to control disease burden, in allergies and autoimmune diseases the pathogenesis is characterized by uncontrolled or overacting immunity.
One research focus at TRON is the development of targeted immunotherapies. Such therapeutic modulation of immunity is fast emerging as the most innovative treatment model. Options include vaccines that trigger actively modified immune responses against cancer and infectious diseases and tailored immune suppression to control allergies and autoimmune diseases. TRON’s research teams contribute to the development of novel recombinant vaccine platforms, monoclonal antibodies, adoptive cell therapies and gene therapies.
While significant progress has been made over the last decade, a number of new challenges are developing. Due to demographic changes the prevalence of cancer is increasing – in industrialized countries cancer now accounts for 1 in 4 deaths. However, due to the molecular heterogeneity of the disease, less than 25% of patients benefit from currently available therapies.
Individualized medicine, in which physicians tailor treatment to specific patients, points a clear way forward. The approach has high potential for increasing treatment efficacy and lowering the costs of drug development and medical treatment. TRON’s research of novel biomarkers is a key contribution to this area, as biomarkers are a key tool for designing treatment plans, and are used to address defined characteristics in combination with targeted therapeutics. Additionally, TRON is specialized in all technologies and techniques for profiling clinical specimens, including the next generation high-throughput sequencing platform, data mining and the analysis of basic and clinical study results.