TRON is part of the European Bioinformatics Research Consortium on personalised cancer immunotherapy

Mainz, May 1, 2015 – Experts in bioinformatics and cancer immunology to develop an Advanced bioinformatics platform for personalised cancer immunotherapy

Mainz, May 2015. On May 1st, TRON under the leadership of Prof. Dr. med. Ugur Sahin started an innovative research project on personalised cancer immunotherapy: The newly established APERIM “Advanced bioinformatics platform for PERsonalised cancer IMmunotherapy” consortium coordinated by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Zlatko Trajanoski (Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria) will collaborate on the practical implementation of immunotherapy and the development of a new treatment platform specifically for unique tumour mutations of individual patients.

The collaboration of eight academic partners and three companies is made possible through funding by the EU within the H2020 framework programme “Personalising Health and Care” (H2020-PHC-2014) totalling three million euros over the course of three years. The APERIM consortium is one of the few successful ones with an overall success rate of only 6.9% for the given sub-call.

Immune system against cancer: Analysis of next generation sequencing data

The immune system protects the human body not only against foreign pathogens, but also against tumour cells. Tumour cells can escape the control of the immune system in various ways. However, this reduced defensive reaction can be stimulated therapeutically, as has been demonstrated in numerous publications. These new findings, as well as new ways of obtaining more and more information from patient samples using a method known as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), require the development of new platforms to manage and utilise the obtained data for patient treatment. Thus, treatment platforms can process the individual data of cancer patients to identify individually tailored therapy options. Advanced bioinformatics methods enable the evaluation and processing of specific information on the molecular fundamentals of individual tumours, which in turn forms the basis for a truly personalised cancer immunotherapy.

APERIM – Four steps to personalised cancer immunotherapy

The APERIM project has four goals: A new database will store all molecular information on a tumour, a new analysis tool will permit quantification of tumour-infiltrating T cells, a software application will provide the information required to produce personalised therapeutic vaccinations, and a new method will be used to develop a specific T cell gene therapy.

 “This comprehensive information will then provide an important foundation for diagnosis and therapy,” explains Univ.-Prof Trajanoski, the project coordinator.