Support to fund research into stem cell-like lymphocytes in tumor immunotherapy
The Lymphocyte Function lab of the Department of oncology UNIL CHUV led by Pr Werner Held recently discovered a CD8+ T cell subset that is needed for tumor control in response to immunotherapy. These so-called “memory-like” CD8+ T cells have stem cell-like properties i.e. they can proliferate whereby they either reproduce (or self-renew) or differentiate into “exhausted” CD8+ T cells whose expansion capacity is limited but they gain the potential to kill tumor cells.
This award* of a Swiss Cancer Research grant will allow to build on these original findings. The project's central goal is to determine the basis for the stem cell-like behavior of tumor-associated CD8+ T cell and to explore whether this property can be modulated. Since stem cell-like CD8+ T cells represent an essential novel component of tumor immunity, a better understanding and specific targeting of these cells has a significant potential to improve immunotherapy of cancer.
*Swiss Cancer Research Grant ID: KFS-5386-08-2021