The Immunomonitoring Lab (Head: E.M. Inderberg) analyses the immune cell status of the innate or adaptive immune system with a specific expertise on characterization of T-cell responses. More specific immunomonitoring techniques are developed depending on the requirements in each clinical study. The analysis of the immune response against cancer vaccines/tumour antigens in blood samples or biopsies from these patients 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 first stage in immunomonitoring is the processing and biobanking of the lymphocytes and tumour samples from clinical studies.
The patient samples are then tested for antigen specific immune responses in more detailed immunomonitoring, including tests such as:
- Proliferation test following tumour peptide presentation, or recall antigens.
- IFN-γ ELISPOT testing (or other cytokines) performed ex vivo on PBMC or immune cell subsets CD4+ or CD8+ T cells
- Measurement of cytokine secretion by Luminex technology (Bio-Plex) or ELISA after specific stimulation or exposure to antigens.
- Measuring the frequency of antigen-specific T cells using HLA multimers
-Intracellular cytokine staining by flow cytometry
- Immune cell phenotyping by flow cytometry or mass cytometry (CyTOF)
- Biomarker studies
Further research includes methods such as T cells cloning by limiting dilution, cytotoxicity assays and phenotyping
The Immunomonitoring group has participated in The European Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT) Immunoguidance panels (CIP) since 2008 and the US Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC) proficiency panels to ensure an external validation of assay performance and to enhance assay harmonization.
Ongoing clinical trials:
Dendritic Cell (DC) vaccines
DEN-STEM GBM: Glioblastoma (tumour stem cell mRNA, hTERT, survivin). Randomized study (PI: E Vik-Mo)
UV1/hTERT-P (Sponsor: Ultimovacs ASA): Prostate cancer (PI: W Lilleby)
UV1/hTERT-L (Sponsor: Ultimovacs ASA): Lung cancer (PI: P Brunsvig)
UV1/hTERT-MM (Sponsor: Ultimovacs ASA): Malignant melanoma (PI: T Guren)
UV1/hTERT-MM-103 (Sponsor: Ultimovacs ASA): Malignant melanoma (Multicentre study)
INITIUM UV1-202 (Sponsor: Ultimovacs ASA): Malignant melanoma (Multicentre study) (PI: M Nyakas)
TENDU-101 (Sponsor: Ultimovacs ASA): Prostate cancer (PI: W Lilleby)
FMPV-1 phase I (Hubro Therapeutics AS): in healthy volunteers, UK
In situ vaccine, immune checkpoint inhibitors and non-immunotherapeutic treatments
BGBIL006 study: Malignant melanoma
VIGAS-2 study: Phase I/Ib, multicenter anti-viral therapy in Glioblastoma (PI P Brandal)
NEOLETEXE study: Breast cancer (PI: Jürgen Geisler, Ahus)
BM7PE Immunotoxin: Colon cancer (PI Geir Olav Hjortland)
ABC-X: Malignant melanoma (PI K Dolven)
T cell based therapy (mRNA) in development
Telomerase-specific TCR Therapy: Lung cancer (PI Å Helland)
CAR-T OSCAR therapy: Osteosarcoma (PI K Boye)