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Archive for the ‘Immune Modulatory’ Category


A Series of Recently Published Papers Report the Development of SARS-CoV2 Neutralizing Antibodies and Passive Immunity toward COVID19

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

 

Passive Immunity and Treatment of Infectious Diseases

The ability of one person to pass on immunity to another person (passive immunity) is one of the chief methods we develop immunity to many antigens.  For instance, maternal antibodies are passed to the offspring in the neonatal setting as well as in a mother’s milk during breast feeding.  In the clinical setting this is achieved by transferring antibodies from one patient who has been exposed to an antigen (like a virus) to the another individual.   However, the process of purifying the most efficacious antibody as well as its mass production is limiting due to its complexity and cost and can be prohibitively long delay during a pandemic outbreak, when therapies are few and needed immediately.  Regardless, the benefits of developing neutralizing antibodies to confer passive immunity versus development of a vaccine are evident, as the former takes considerable less time than development of a safe and effective vaccine.  For a good review on the development and use of neutralizing antibodies and the use of passive immunity to treat infectious diseases please read the following review:

Margaret A. Keller1,* and E. Richard Stiehm. Passive Immunity in Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2000 Oct; 13(4): 602–614. doi: 10.1128/cmr.13.4.602-614.2000

ABSTRACT

Antibodies have been used for over a century in the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. They are used most commonly for the prevention of measles, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, varicella, rabies, and vaccinia. Although their use in the treatment of bacterial infection has largely been supplanted by antibiotics, antibodies remain a critical component of the treatment of diptheria, tetanus, and botulism. High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin can be used to treat certain viral infections in immunocompromised patients (e.g., cytomegalovirus, parvovirus B19, and enterovirus infections). Antibodies may also be of value in toxic shock syndrome, Ebola virus, and refractory staphylococcal infections. Palivizumab, the first monoclonal antibody licensed (in 1998) for an infectious disease, can prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection in high-risk infants. The development and use of additional monoclonal antibodies to key epitopes of microbial pathogens may further define protective humoral responses and lead to new approaches for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

TABLE 1

Summary of the efficacy of antibody in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases

Infection
Bacterial infections
 Respiratory infections (streptococcus, Streptococcus pneumoniaeNeisseria meningitisHaemophilus influenzae)
 Diphtheria
 Pertussis
 Tetanus
 Other clostridial infections
  C. botulinum
  C. difficile
 Staphylococcal infections
  Toxic shock syndrome
  Antibiotic resistance
  S. epidermidis in newborns
 Invasive streptococcal disease (toxic shock syndrome)
 High-risk newborns
 Shock, intensive care, and trauma
Pseudomonas infection
  Cystic Fibrosis
  Burns
Viral diseases
 Hepatitis A
 Hepatitis B
 Hepatitis C
 HIV infection
 RSV infection
 Herpesvirus infections
  CMV
  EBV
  HSV
  VZV
 Parvovirus infection
 Enterovirus infection
  In newborns
 Ebola
 Rabies
 Measles
 Rubella
 Mumps
 Tick-borne encephalitis
 Vaccinia

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A Great Explanation of Active versus Passive Immunity by Dr. John Campbell, one of the pioneers in the field of immunology:Antibodies have been used for over a century in the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. They are used most commonly for the prevention of measles, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, varicella, rabies, and vaccinia. Although their use in the treatment of bacterial infection has largely been supplanted by antibiotics, antibodies remain a critical component of the treatment of diptheria, tetanus, and botulism. High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin can be used to treat certain viral infections in immunocompromised patients (e.g., cytomegalovirus, parvovirus B19, and enterovirus infections). Antibodies may also be of value in toxic shock syndrome, Ebola virus, and refractory staphylococcal infections. Palivizumab, the first monoclonal antibody licensed (in 1998) for an infectious disease, can prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection in high-risk infants. The development and use of additional monoclonal antibodies to key epitopes of microbial pathogens may further define protective humoral responses and lead to new approaches for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

 

However, developing successful neutralizing antibodies can still be difficult but with the latest monoclonal antibody technology, as highlighted by the following papers, this process has made much more efficient.  In addition, it is not feasable to isolate antibodies from the plasma of covalescent patients in a scale that is needed for a worldwide outbreak.

A good explanation of the need can be found is Dr. Irina Robu’s post Race to develop antibody drugs for COVID-19 where:

When fighting off foreign invaders, our bodies make antibodies precisely produced for the task. The reason vaccines offer such long-lasting protection is they train the immune system to identify a pathogen, so immune cells remember and are ready to attack the virus when it appears. Monoclonal antibodies for coronavirus would take the place of the ones our bodies might produce to fight the disease. The manufactured antibodies would be infused into the body to either tamp down an existing infection, or to protect someone who has been exposed to the virus. However, these drugs are synthetic versions of the convalescent plasma treatments that rely on antibodies from people who have recovered from infection. But the engineered versions are easier to scale because they’re manufactured in rats, rather than from plasma donors.

The following papers represent the latest published work on development of therapeutic and prophylactic neutralizing antibodies to the coronavirus SARS-CoV2

1.  Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody.

Pinto, D., Park, Y., Beltramello, M. et al. Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody. Nature (2020).                                                                            https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2349-y

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerged coronavirus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in more than 3.7 million infections and 260,000 deaths as of 6 May 20201,2. Vaccine and therapeutic discovery efforts are paramount to curb the pandemic spread of this zoonotic virus. The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein promotes entry into host cells and is the main target of neutralizing antibodies. Here we describe multiple monoclonal antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 S identified from memory B cells of an individual who was infected with SARS-CoV in 2003. One antibody, named S309, potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV pseudoviruses as well as authentic SARS-CoV-2 by engaging the S receptor-binding domain. Using cryo-electron microscopy and binding assays, we show that S309 recognizes a glycan-containing epitope that is conserved within the sarbecovirus subgenus, without competing with receptor attachment. Antibody cocktails including S309 along with other antibodies identified here further enhanced SARS-CoV-2 neutralization and may limit the emergence of neutralization-escape mutants. These results pave the way for using S309- and S309-containing antibody cocktails for prophylaxis in individuals at high risk of exposure or as a post-exposure therapy to limit or treat severe disease.

 

2.  Potent neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 identified by high-throughput single-cell sequencing of convalescent patients’ B cells

Yunlong Cao et al.  Potent neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 identified by high-throughput single-cell sequencing of convalescent patients’ B cells. Cell (2020).

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.025

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic urgently needs therapeutic and prophylactic interventions. Here we report the rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies by high-throughput single-cell RNA and VDJ sequencing of antigen-enriched B cells from 60 convalescent patients. From 8,558 antigen-binding IgG1+ clonotypes, 14 potent neutralizing antibodies were identified with the most potent one, BD-368-2, exhibiting an IC50 of 1.2 ng/mL and 15 ng/mL against pseudotyped and authentic SARS-CoV-2, respectively. BD-368-2 also displayed strong therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy in SARS-CoV-2-infected hACE2-transgenic mice. Additionally, the 3.8Å Cryo-EM structure of a neutralizing antibody in complex with the spike-ectodomain trimer revealed the antibody’s epitope overlaps with the ACE2 binding site. Moreover, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies could be directly selected based on similarities of their predicted CDR3H structures to those of SARS-CoV neutralizing antibodies. Altogether, we showed that human neutralizing antibodies could be efficiently discovered by high-throughput single B-cell sequencing in response to pandemic infectious diseases.

3. A human monoclonal antibody blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection

Wang, C., Li, W., Drabek, D. et al. A human monoclonal antibody blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nat Commun 11, 2251 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16256-y

Abstract

The emergence of the novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China has caused a worldwide epidemic of respiratory disease (COVID-19). Vaccines and targeted therapeutics for treatment of this disease are currently lacking. Here we report a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 (and SARS-CoV) in cell culture. This cross-neutralizing antibody targets a communal epitope on these viruses and may offer potential for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Extra References on Development of Neutralizing antibodies for COVID19 {Sars-CoV2} published this year (2020)  [1-4]

  1. Fan P, Chi X, Liu G, Zhang G, Chen Z, Liu Y, Fang T, Li J, Banadyga L, He S et al: Potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against Ebola virus isolated from vaccinated donors. mAbs 2020, 12(1):1742457.
  2. Dussupt V, Sankhala RS, Gromowski GD, Donofrio G, De La Barrera RA, Larocca RA, Zaky W, Mendez-Rivera L, Choe M, Davidson E et al: Potent Zika and dengue cross-neutralizing antibodies induced by Zika vaccination in a dengue-experienced donor. Nature medicine 2020, 26(2):228-235.
  3. Young CL, Lyons AC, Hsu WW, Vanlandingham DL, Park SL, Bilyeu AN, Ayers VB, Hettenbach SM, Zelenka AM, Cool KR et al: Protection of swine by potent neutralizing anti-Japanese encephalitis virus monoclonal antibodies derived from vaccination. Antiviral research 2020, 174:104675.
  4. Sautto GA, Kirchenbaum GA, Abreu RB, Ecker JW, Pierce SR, Kleanthous H, Ross TM: A Computationally Optimized Broadly Reactive Antigen Subtype-Specific Influenza Vaccine Strategy Elicits Unique Potent Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies against Hemagglutinin. J Immunol 2020, 204(2):375-385.

 

For More Articles on COVID-19 Please see Our Coronavirus Portal on this Open Access Scientific Journal at:

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/coronavirus-portal/

and the following Articles on  Immunity at

Race to develop antibody drugs for COVID-19
Bispecific and Trispecific Engagers: NK-T Cells and Cancer Therapy
Issues Need to be Resolved With ImmunoModulatory Therapies: NK cells, mAbs, and adoptive T cells
Antibody-bound Viral Antigens

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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Effective humoral immune responses to infection and immunization are defined by high-affinity antibodies generated as a result of B cell differentiation and selection that occurs within germinal centers (GC). Within the GC, B cells undergo affinity maturation, an iterative and competitive process wherein B cells mutate their immunoglobulin genes (somatic hypermutation) and undergo clonal selection by competing for T cell help. Balancing the decision to remain within the GC and continue participating in affinity maturation or to exit the GC as a plasma cell (PC) or memory B cell (MBC) is critical for achieving optimal antibody avidity, antibody quantity, and establishing immunological memory in response to immunization or infection. Humoral immune responses during chronic infections are often dysregulated and characterized by hypergammaglobulinemia, decreased affinity maturation, and delayed development of neutralizing antibodies. Previous studies have suggested that poor antibody quality is in part due to deletion of B cells prior to establishment of the GC response.

 

In fact the impact of chronic infections on B cell fate decisions in the GC remains poorly understood. To address this question, researchers used single-cell transcriptional profiling of virus-specific GC B cells to test the hypothesis that chronic viral infection disrupted GC B cell fate decisions leading to suboptimal humoral immunity. These studies revealed a critical GC differentiation checkpoint that is disrupted by chronic infection, specifically at the point of dark zone re-entry. During chronic viral infection, virus-specific GC B cells were shunted towards terminal plasma cell (PC) or memory B cell (MBC) fates at the expense of continued participation in the GC. Early GC exit was associated with decreased B cell mutational burden and antibody quality. Persisting antigen and inflammation independently drove facets of dysregulation, with a key role for inflammation in directing premature terminal GC B cell differentiation and GC exit. Thus, the present research defines GC defects during chronic viral infection and identify a critical GC checkpoint that is short-circuited, preventing optimal maturation of humoral immunity.

 

Together, these studies identify a key GC B cell differentiation checkpoint that is dysregulated during chronic infection. Further, it was found that the chronic inflammatory environment, rather than persistent antigen, is sufficient to drive altered GC B cell differentiation during chronic infection even against unrelated antigens. However, the data also indicate that inflammatory circuits are likely linked to perception of antigen stimulation. Nevertheless, this study reveals a B cell-intrinsic program of transcriptional skewing in chronic viral infection that results in shunting out of the cyclic GC B cell process and early GC exit with consequences for antibody quality and hypergammaglobulinemia. These findings have implications for vaccination in individuals with pre-existing chronic infections where antibody responses are often ineffective and suggest that modulation of inflammatory pathways may be therapeutically useful to overcome impaired humoral immunity and foster affinity maturation during chronic viral infections.

 

References:

 

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/849844v1

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25656706

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27653600

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26912368

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799208

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23001146

 

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Newly Found Functions of B Cell

Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

The importance of B cells to human health is more than what is already known. Vaccines capable of eradicating disease activate B cells, cancer checkpoint blockade therapies are produced using B cells, and B cell deficiencies have devastating impacts. B cells have been a subject of fascination since at least the 1800s. The notion of a humoral branch to immunity emerged from the work of and contemporaries studying B cells in the early 1900s.

 

Efforts to understand how we could make antibodies from B cells against almost any foreign surface while usually avoiding making them against self, led to Burnet’s clonal selection theory. This was followed by the molecular definition of how a diversity of immunoglobulins can arise by gene rearrangement in developing B cells. Recombination activating gene (RAG)-dependent processes of V-(D)-J rearrangement of immunoglobulin (Ig) gene segments in developing B cells are now known to be able to generate an enormous amount of antibody diversity (theoretically at least 1016 possible variants).

 

With so much already known, B cell biology might be considered ‘‘done’’ with only incremental advances still to be made, but instead, there is great activity in the field today with numerous major challenges that remain. For example, efforts are underway to develop vaccines that induce broadly neutralizing antibody responses, to understand how autoantigen- and allergen-reactive antibodies arise, and to harness B cell-depletion therapies to correct non-autoantibody-mediated diseases, making it evident that there is still an enormous amount we do not know about B cells and much work to be done.

 

Multiple self-tolerance checkpoints exist to remove autoreactive specificities from the B cell repertoire or to limit the ability of such cells to secrete autoantigen-binding antibody. These include receptor editing and deletion in immature B cells, competitive elimination of chronically autoantigen binding B cells in the periphery, and a state of anergy that disfavors PC (plasma cell) differentiation. Autoantibody production can occur due to failures in these checkpoints or in T cell self-tolerance mechanisms. Variants in multiple genes are implicated in increasing the likelihood of checkpoint failure and of autoantibody production occurring.

 

Autoantibodies are pathogenic in a number of human diseases including SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus), pemphigus vulgaris, Grave’s disease, and myasthenia gravis. B cell depletion therapy using anti-CD20 antibody has been protective in some of these diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris, but not others such as SLE and this appears to reflect the contribution of SLPC (Short lived plasma cells) versus LLPC (Long lived plasma cells) to autoantibody production and the inability of even prolonged anti-CD20 treatment to eliminate the later. These clinical findings have added to the importance of understanding what factors drive SLPC versus LLPC development and what the requirements are to support LLPCs.

 

B cell depletion therapy has also been efficacious in several other autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While the potential contributions of autoantibodies to the pathology of these diseases are still being explored, autoantigen presentation has been posited as another mechanism for B cell disease-promoting activity.

 

In addition to autoimmunity, B cells play an important role in allergic diseases. IgE antibodies specific for allergen components sensitize mast cells and basophils for rapid degranulation in response to allergen exposures at various sites, such as in the intestine (food allergy), nose (allergic rhinitis), and lung (allergic asthma). IgE production may thus be favored under conditions that induce weak B cell responses and minimal GC (Germinal center) activity, thereby enabling IgE+ B cells and/or PCs to avoid being outcompeted by IgG+ cells. Aside from IgE antibodies, B cells may also contribute to allergic inflammation through their interactions with T cells.

 

B cells have also emerged as an important source of the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10. Mouse studies revealed that B cell-derived IL-10 can promote recovery from EAE (Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) and can be protective in models of RA and type 1 diabetes. Moreover, IL-10 production from B cells restrains T cell responses during some viral and bacterial infections. These findings indicate that the influence of B cells on the cytokine milieu will be context dependent.

 

The presence of B cells in a variety of solid tumor types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and melanoma, has been associated in some studies with a positive prognosis. The mechanism involved is unclear but could include antigen presentation to CD4 and CD8 T cells, antibody production and subsequent enhancement of presentation, or by promoting tertiary lymphoid tissue formation and local T cell accumulation. It is also noteworthy that B cells frequently make antibody responses to cancer antigens and this has led to efforts to use antibodies from cancer patients as biomarkers of disease and to identify immunotherapy targets.

 

Malignancies of B cells themselves are a common form of hematopoietic cancer. This predilection arises because the gene modifications that B cells undergo during development and in immune responses are not perfect in their fidelity, and antibody responses require extensive B cell proliferation. The study of B cell lymphomas and their associated genetic derangements continues to be illuminating about requirements for normal B cell differentiation and signaling while also leading to the development of targeted therapies.

 

Overall this study attempted to capture some of the advances in the understanding of B cell biology that have occurred since the turn of the century. These include important steps forward in understanding how B cells encounter antigens, the co-stimulatory and cytokine requirements for their proliferation and differentiation, and how properties of the B cell receptor, the antigen, and helper T cells influence B cell responses. Many advances continue to transform the field including the impact of deep sequencing technologies on understanding B cell repertoires, the IgA-inducing microbiome, and the genetic defects in humans that compromise or exaggerate B cell responses or give rise to B cell malignancies.

 

Other advances that are providing insight include:

  • single-cell approaches to define B cell heterogeneity,
  • glycomic approaches to study effector sugars on antibodies,
  • new methods to study human B cell responses including CRISPR-based manipulation, and
  • the use of systems biology to study changes at the whole organism level.

With the recognition that B cells and antibodies are involved in most types of immune response and the realization that inflammatory processes contribute to a wider range of diseases than previously believed, including, for example, metabolic syndrome and neurodegeneration, it is expected that further

  • basic research-driven discovery about B cell biology will lead to more and improved approaches to maintain health and fight disease in the future.

 

References:

 

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30278-8

 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hon.2405

 

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/18/4743

 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/all.12911

 

https://cshperspectives.cshlp.org/content/10/5/a028795

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0049017218304955

 

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CytoReason is re-defining the Context of the Immune System for Drug Discovery

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

CytoReason is re-defining the context of the immune system at a cellular level in order to better understand disease and support more effective drug discovery and development.

Our leading-edge machine-learning driven approach identifies “cause and effect” of the gene/cell/cytokine relationships that lie at the heart of treating disease.

Faster and more accurately than ever before.

CytoReason’s mission is to simulate the cells that can stimulate discovery of:​

  • New targets for treating disease
  • New insights to mechanism of actions (both of disease and drugs)
  • Differences in responses to both disease and treatment
  • Which diseases a drug can impact

We have developed a unique machine-learning driven approach to “seeing” the cells that can make the difference in patients seeing a better life.

The insights our approach generates, enable pharmaceutical and biotech companies to make the right decisions, at the right time, in the drug discovery and development programs that bring better therapies.

Based on cutting edge technologies, trained on data that would normally be impossible to access, and steered by leading biological and data science researchers, our approach is underpinned by three core principles:​

SOURCE

https://www.cytoreason.com/

Press Release

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/216dd2_b715f2c29a8c496eb65315d332a7077e.pdf

Case Studies

Click one of the buttons below to view a short case study presention:

Collaboration & Results

Working with leading global pharma and biotech companies and key research institutions, our results help guide R&D decision making.

Results

Our platform is tried and tested, producing real results with validation

•    Discovered: New cellular players in melanoma microenvironment

•    Discovered: New IL4 mechanism of action in atopic dermatitis

•    Discovered: Novel pre-treatment biomarkers in IBD anti-TNFα therapy

•    Discovered: 355 previously unreported cell/cytokine interactions (view infographic)

Publications

Science is the backbone of our methodologies and applications, and must stand the test of scientific scrutiny.  To date we have 16 research papers published in top quality peer-reviewed scientific journals, including four in 2018 alone – 3 of which were published in journals from the Nature group

SOURCE

 

Shen-Orr told Forbes in an article published late last month that CytoReason’s tech is able to calculate immune age in one of two ways: “Via cell-subset composition nearest neighbor approach or based on a gene expression signature where the genes are predictive of the cell-subsets composition, and they test for their enrichment in the gene expression pattern of the sample. The immune profiles of individuals are used to predict immune changes based on a machine learning methodology deployed on data on a range of cell-subsets. ”

“The immune age is a biological clock that will help to identify, the decline and progress in immunity that occurs in old age, to determine preventive measures and develop new treatment modalities to minimize chronic disease and death,” he added.

CytoReason’s tech has so far yielded two pending patents, 10 commercial and scientific collaborations, and 16 peer-reviewed publications.

Harel says it was a combination of forces that made CytoReason’s immune-focused methodology work: Big Data, machine learning, and biology. He describes it as “the intersection of computer science and biology.”

SEE ALSO: The Future Of Medicine: Israeli Scientists Unveil New Tech To 3D-Print Personalized Drugs

 

Professor Magdassi tells NoCamels that with 3D printing of hydrogels, molecules that are soluble in water, scientists can improve the performance of the drug through its delivery. For example, “the hydrogel once ingested can be designed to swell, releasing two, or three, or four drugs at a time [or with a delay] or it can be designed not to swell, depending on what we are trying to achieve.”

“The drug can be tailored to the patient because of the unique shape or structure of the hydrogel and/or its release behavior,” Professor Magdassi explains.

Currently, there is one 3D-printed drug on the market. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Spritam, a 3D-printed powdered drug in pill form for the treatment of epileptic seizures, designed to dissolve faster than other pills.

SOURCE

http://nocamels.com/2018/11/future-medicine-israel-3d-print-personalized-drugs/

 

Quantifying The Age Of Our Immune System Could Bring Us Some Steps Closer To Precision Medicine

Last January, CytoReason announced an agreement with Pfizer, in which the latter will leverage the former’s technology to create cell-based models of the immune system. According to the agreement, CytoReason will receive an undisclosed amount in the low double-digit millions of U.S. dollars from Pfizer in access fees, research support and success-based payments. Prof. Shen-Orr concluded, “The immune age is a biological clock that will help to identify, the decline and progress in immunity that occurs in old age, to determine preventive measures and develop new treatment modalities to minimize chronic disease and death.”
SOURCE

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Immunoediting can be a constant defense in the cancer landscape


Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

There are many considerations in the cancer immunoediting landscape of defense and regulation in the cancer hallmark biology. The cancer hallmark biology in concert with key controls of the HLA compatibility affinity mechanisms are pivotal in architecting a unique patient-centric therapeutic application. Selection of random immune products including neoantigens, antigens, antibodies and other vital immune elements creates a high level of uncertainty and risk of undesirable immune reactions. Immunoediting is a constant process. The human innate and adaptive forces can either trigger favorable or unfavorable immunoediting features. Cancer is a multi-disease entity. There are multi-factorial initiators in a certain disease process. Namely, environmental exposures, viral and / or microbiome exposure disequilibrium, direct harm to DNA, poor immune adaptability, inherent risk and an individual’s own vibration rhythm in life.

 

When a human single cell is crippled (Deranged DNA) with mixed up molecular behavior that is the initiator of the problem. A once normal cell now transitioned into full threatening molecular time bomb. In the modeling and creation of a tumor it all begins with the singular molecular crisis and crippling of a normal human cell. At this point it is either chop suey (mixed bit responses) or a productive defensive and regulation response and posture of the immune system. Mixed bits of normal DNA, cancer-laden DNA, circulating tumor DNA, circulating normal cells, circulating tumor cells, circulating immune defense cells, circulating immune inflammatory cells forming a moiety of normal and a moiety of mess. The challenge is to scavenge the mess and amplify the normal.

 

Immunoediting is a primary push-button feature that is definitely required to be hit when it comes to initiating immune defenses against cancer and an adaptation in favor of regression. As mentioned before that the tumor microenvironment is a “mixed bit” moiety, which includes elements of the immune system that can defend against circulating cancer cells and tumor growth. Personalized (Precision-Based) cancer vaccines must become the primary form of treatment in this case. Current treatment regimens in conventional therapy destroy immune defenses and regulation and create more serious complications observed in tumor progression, metastasis and survival. Commonly resistance to chemotherapeutic agents is observed. These personalized treatments will be developed in concert with cancer hallmark analytics and immunocentrics affinity and selection mapping. This mapping will demonstrate molecular pathway interface and HLA compatibility and adaptation with patientcentricity.

References:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/immunoediting-cancer-landscape-john-catanzaro/

 

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31609-9

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309432057_Circulating_tumor_cell_clusters_What_we_know_and_what_we_expect_Review

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190561/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5840207/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5593672/

 

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00414/full

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5593672/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190561/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388310/

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cancer-hallmark-analytics-omics-data-pathway-studio-review-catanzaro/

 

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Immunotherapy may help in glioblastoma survival


Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults and is associated with poor survival. But, in a glimmer of hope, a recent study found that a drug designed to unleash the immune system helped some patients live longer. Glioblastoma powerfully suppresses the immune system, both at the site of the cancer and throughout the body, which has made it difficult to find effective treatments. Such tumors are complex and differ widely in their behavior and characteristics.

 

A small randomized, multi-institution clinical trial was conducted and led by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles involved patients who had a recurrence of glioblastoma, the most common central nervous system cancer. The aim was to evaluate immune responses and survival following neoadjuvant and/or adjuvant therapy with pembrolizumab (checkpoint inhibitor) in 35 patients with recurrent, surgically resectable glioblastoma. Patients who were randomized to receive neoadjuvant pembrolizumab, with continued adjuvant therapy following surgery, had significantly extended overall survival compared to patients that were randomized to receive adjuvant, post-surgical programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade alone.

 

Neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade was associated with upregulation of T cell– and interferon-γ-related gene expression, but downregulation of cell-cycle-related gene expression within the tumor, which was not seen in patients that received adjuvant therapy alone. Focal induction of programmed death-ligand 1 in the tumor microenvironment, enhanced clonal expansion of T cells, decreased PD-1 expression on peripheral blood T cells and a decreasing monocytic population was observed more frequently in the neoadjuvant group than in patients treated only in the adjuvant setting. These findings suggest that the neoadjuvant administration of PD-1 blockade enhanced both the local and systemic antitumor immune response and may represent a more efficacious approach to the treatment of this uniformly lethal brain tumor.

 

Immunotherapy has not proved to be effective against glioblastoma. This small clinical trial explored the effect of PD-1 blockade on recurrent glioblastoma in relation to the timing of administration. A total of 35 patients undergoing resection of recurrent disease were randomized to either neoadjuvant or adjuvant pembrolizumab, and surgical specimens were compared between the two groups. Interestingly, the tumoral gene expression signature varied between the two groups, such that those who received neoadjuvant pembrolizumab displayed an INF-γ gene signature suggestive of T-cell activation as well as suppression of cell-cycle signaling, possibly consistent with growth arrest. Although the study was not powered for efficacy, the group found an increase in overall survival in patients receiving neoadjuvant pembrolizumab compared with adjuvant pembrolizumab of 13.7 months versus 7.5 months, respectively.

 

In this small pilot study, neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade followed by surgical resection was associated with intratumoral T-cell activation and inhibition of tumor growth as well as longer survival. How the drug works in glioblastoma has not been totally established. The researchers speculated that giving the drug before surgery prompted T-cells within the tumor, which had been impaired, to attack the cancer and extend lives. The drug didn’t spur such anti-cancer activity after the surgery because those T-cells were removed along with the tumor. The results are very important and very promising but would need to be validated in much larger trials.

 

References:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/02/11/immunotherapy-may-help-patients-with-kind-cancer-that-killed-john-mccain/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e1b2e6fffccc

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30742122

 

https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/neoadjuvant-anti-pd-1-immunotherapy-promotes-immune-responses-in-recurrent-gbm/79742/37/12/1

 

https://www.esmo.org/Oncology-News/Neoadjuvant-PD-1-Blockade-in-Glioblastoma

 

https://neurosciencenews.com/immunotherapy-glioblastoma-cancer-10722/

 

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TWEETS by @pharma_BI and @AVIVA1950 at #IESYMPOSIUM – @kochinstitute 2019 #Immune #Engineering #Symposium, 1/28/2019 – 1/29/2019

 

Real Time Press Coverage: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

eProceedings for Day 1 and Day 2

LIVE Day One – Koch Institute 2019 Immune Engineering Symposium, January 28, 2019, Kresge Auditorium, MIT

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2019/01/28/live-day-one-koch-institute-2019-immune-engineering-symposium-january-28-2019-kresge-auditorium-mit/

 

LIVE Day Two – Koch Institute 2019 Immune Engineering Symposium, January 29, 2019, Kresge Auditorium, MIT

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2019/01/29/live-day-two-koch-institute-2019-immune-engineering-symposium-january-29-2019-kresge-auditorium-mit/

 

 

  1. AMAZING Conference I covered in Real Time

  2. Aviv Regev Melanoma: malignant cells with resistance in cold niches in situ cells express the resistance program pre-treatment: resistance UP – cold Predict checkpoint immunotherapy outcomes CDK4/6 abemaciclib in cell lines

  3. Aviv Regev, a cell-cell interactions from variations across individuals Most UC-risk genes are cell type specificVariation – epithelial cell signature – organize US GWAS into cell type spec

  4. Diane Mathis Age-dependent Treg and mSC changes – Linear with increase in age Sex-dependent Treg and mSC changes – Female Treg loss in cases of Obesity leading to fibrosis Treg keep IL-33-Producing mSCs under rein Lean tissue/Obese tissue

  5. Martin LaFleur Loss of Ptpn2 enhances CD8+ T cell responses to LCMV and Tumors PTpn2 deletion in the immune system enhanced tumor immunity CHIME enables in vivo screening

  6. Alex Shalek Identifying and rationally modulating cellular drivers of enhanced immunity T Cells, Clusters Expression of Peak and Memory Immunotherapy- Identifying Dendritic cells enhanced in HIV-1 Elite Controllers

  7.   Retweeted

    Onward: our own Michael Birnbaum, who assures us that if you feel like you’re an immunoengineer, then you ARE one!

  8. Glenn Dranoff Adenosine level in blood or tissue very difficult to measure in blood even more than in tissue – NIR178 + PDR 001 Monotherapy (NIR178) combine with PD receptor blockage (PDR) show benefit A alone vs A+B in Clinical trial

  9. Glenn Dranoff PD-L1 blockade elicits responses in some patients: soft part sarcoma LAG-3 combined with PD-1 – human peripheral blood tumor TIM-3 key regulator of T cell and Myeloid cell function: correlates in the TCGA DB myeloid

  10. Glenn Dranoff Institute for Biomedical Research of Neurologic toxicities of CART t IL-6 activation AML – complete response – weekly dose of XmAb CD123X CD3 bispecific antibody anti tumor effect

  11. of protective HLA-DR4 effects outside of “peptide anchor” residues Class I MHC – HLA-E down regulate T and NK cells Receptor Binding: Positional preferences noted for NKG2A

  12. Yvonne Chen Activation of t Cell use CAR t Engineer CAR-T to respond to soluble form of antigens: CD19 CAR Responds to soluble CD19 GFP MCAR responds to Dimeric GFP “Tumor microenvironment is a scary place”

  13. Yvonne Chen Do we need a ligand to be a dimers? Co-expressed second-generation TGF-beta signaling

  14. Yvonne Chen “Engineering smarter and stronger T cells for cancer immunotherapy” OR-Gate cause no relapse – Probing limits of modularity in CAR Design Bispecific CARs are superior to DualCAR: One vs DualCAR (some remained single CAR)

  15.   Retweeted

    Ending the 1st session is Cathy Wu of detailing some amazing work on vaccination strategies for melanoma and glioblastoma patients. They use long peptides engineered from tumor sequencing data.

  16.   Retweeted

    Some fancy imaging: Duggan gives a nice demo of how dSTORM imaging works using a micropatterend image of Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology! yay!

  17.   Retweeted

    Lots of interesting talks in the second session of the – effects of lymphoangiogenesis on anti-tumor immune responses, nanoparticle based strategies to improve bNAbs titers/affinity for HIV therapy, and IAPi cancer immunotherapy

  18.   Retweeted

    Looking forward to another day of the . One more highlight from yesterday – from our own lab showcased her work developing cytokine fusions that bind to collagen, boosting efficacy while drastically reducing toxicities

  19.   Retweeted

    Members of our cell therapy team were down the street today at neighboring for the presented by .

  20.   Retweeted

    He could have fooled me that he is, in fact, an immunologist!

  21.  
  22.   Retweeted

    Come and say Hi! ACIR will be back tomorrow at the Immune Engineering Symposium at MIT. Learn more at . . And stay tuned to read our summary of the talks on Feb 6.

  23. Facundo Batista @MGH # in BG18 Germline Heavy CHain (BG18-gH) High-mannose patch – mice exhibit normal B cell development B cells from naive human germline BG18-gH bind to GT2 immunogen

  24. Preeti Sharma, U Illinois T cell receptor and CAR-T engineering TCR engineering for Targeting glycosylated cancer antigens Nornal glycosylation vs Aberrant Engineering 237-CARs libraries with conjugated (Tn-OTS8) against Tn-antigend In vitro

  25. Bryan Bryson Loss of polarization potential: scRNAseq reveals transcriptional differences Thioredoxin facilitates immune response to Mtb is a marker of an inflammatory macrophage state functional spectrum of human microphages

  26. Bryan Bryson macrophage axis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Building “libraries” – surface marker analysis of Microphages Polarized macrophages are functionally different quant and qual differences History of GM-CSF suppresses IL-10

  27. Jamie Spangler John Hopkins University “Reprogramming anti-cancer immunity RESPONSE through molecular engineering” De novo IL-2 potetiator in therapeutic superior to the natural cytokine by molecular engineering mimicking other cytokines

  28. Jamie Spangler JES6-1 Immunocytokine – inhibiting melanoma Engineering a Treg cell-biased immunocytokine double mutant immunocytokine shows enhanced IL-2Ralpha exchange Affinity De Novo design of a hyper-stable, effector biased IL-2

  29. , Volume Five: in of Cardiovascular Diseases. On com since 12/23/2018

  30. Michael Dustin ESCRT pathway associated with synaptic ectosomes Locatization, Microscopy Cytotoxic T cell granules CTLs release extracellular vescicles similar to T Helper with perforin and granzyme – CTL vesicles kill targets

  31. Michael Dustin Delivery of T cell Effector function through extracellular vesicles Synaptic ectosome biogenisis Model: T cells: DOpamine cascade in germinal cell delivered to synaptic cleft – Effector CD40 – Transfer is cooperative

  32. Michael Dustin Delivery of T cell Effector function through extracellular vesicles Laterally mobile ligands track receptor interaction ICAM-1 Signaling of synapse – Sustain signaling by transient in microclusters TCR related Invadipodia

  33. Mikael Pittet @MGH Myeloid Cells in Cancer Indirect mechanism AFTER a-PD-1 Treatment IFN-gamma Sensing Fosters IL-12 & therapeutic Responses aPD-1-Mediated Activation of Tumor Immunity – Direct activation and the ‘Licensing’ Model

  34. Stefani Spranger KI Response to checkpoint blockade Non-T cell-inflamed – is LACK OF T CELL INFILTRATION Tumor CD103 dendritic cells – Tumor-residing Batf3-drivenCD103 Tumor-intrinsic Beta-catenin mediates lack of T cell infiltration

  35. Max Krummel Gene expression association between two genes: and numbers are tightly linked to response to checkpoint blockage IMMUNE “ACCOMODATION” ARCHYTYPES: MYELOID TUNING OF ARCHITYPES Myeloid function and composition

  36. Noor Momin, MIT Lumican-cytokines improve control of distant lesions – Lumican-fusion potentiates systemic anti-tumor immunity

    Translate Tweet

  37. Noor Momin, MIT Lumican fusion to IL-2 improves treatment efficacy reduce toxicity – Anti-TAA mAb – TA99 vs IL-2 Best efficacy and least toxicity in Lumican-MSA-IL-2 vs MSA-IL2 Lumican synergy with CAR-T

  38.   Retweeted

    excited to attend the immune engineering symposium this week! find me there to chat about and whether your paper could be a good fit for us! 🦠🧬🔬🧫📖

  39.   Retweeted

    Bob Schreiber and Tyler Jacks kicked off the with 2 great talks on the role of Class I and Class II neo-Ag in tumor immunogenicity and how the tumor microenvironment alters T cell responsiveness to tumors in vivo

  40.   Retweeted

    Scott Wilson from gave a fantastic talk on glycopolymer conjugation to antigens to improve trafficking to HAPCs and enhanced tolerization in autoimmunity models. Excited to learn more about his work at his faculty talk!

  41. AMAZING Symposinm

  42.   Retweeted

    Immune Engineering Symposium at MIT is underway!

  43.   Retweeted

    ACIR is excited to be covering the Immune Engineering Symposium at MIT on January 28-29. Learn more at .

  44. Tyler Jacks talk was outstanding, Needs be delivered A@TED TALKs, needs become contents in the curriculum of Cell Biology graduate seminar as an Online class. BRAVO

  45.   Retweeted

    Here we go!! Today and tomorrow the tippity top immunologists converge at

  46.   Retweeted

    Exciting start to this year’s Immune Engineering Symposium put on by at . A few highlights from the first section…

  47. Stephanie Dougan (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) Dept. Virology IAPi outperforms checkpoint blockade in T cell cold tumors reduction of tumor burden gencitabine cross-presenting DCs and CD8 T cells – T cell low 6694c2

  48. Darrell Irvine (MIT, Koch Institute; HHMI) Engineering follicle delivery through synthetic glycans: eOD-60mer nanoparticles vs Ferritin-trimer 8-mer (density dependent)

  49. Darrell Irvine (MIT, Koch Institute; HHMI) GC targeting is dependent on complement component CIQ – activation: Mannose-binding lectins recognize eOD-60mer but not eOD monomer or trimers

  50. Melody Swartz (University of Chicago) Lymphangiogenesis attractive to Native T cells, in VEGF-C tumors T cell homing inhibitors vs block T cell egress inhibitors – Immunotherapy induces T cell killing

  51. Cathy Wu @MGH breakthrough for Brain Tumor based neoantigen-specific T cell at intracranial site Single cells brain tissue vs single cells from neoantigen specific T cells – intratumoral neoantigen-specific T cells: mutARGAP35-spacific

  52. Cathy Wu (Massachusetts General Hospital) – CoFounder of NEON Enduring complete radiographic responses after + alpha-PD-1 treatment (anti-PD-1) NeoVax vs IVAC Mutanome for melanoma and Glioblastoma clinical trials

  53. , U of Chicago IV INJECTION: OVAALBUMIN OVA-P(GALINAC), P(GLCNAC), SUPRESS T CELL RESPONSE Abate T cells response – Reduced cytokine production & increased -regs

  54. Interrogating markers of T cell dysfunction – chance biology of cells by CRISPR – EGR2 at 2 weeks dysfuntioning is reduced presence of EDR2 mutant class plays role in cell metabolism cell becomes functional regulator CD8 T cell

  55. Bob Schreiber (Wash University of St. Louis) Optimal CD8+ T cells mediated to T3 require CD4+ T help

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LIVE Day Two – Koch Institute 2019 Immune Engineering Symposium, January 29, 2019, Kresge Auditorium, MIT

 

Real Time Press Coverage: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

#IESYMPOSIUM @pharma_BI @AVIVA1950

 

MISSION The mission of the Koch Institute (KI) is to apply the tools of science and technology to improve the way cancer is detected, monitored, treated and prevented.

APPROACH We bring together scientists and engineers – in collaboration with clinicians and industry partners – to solve the most intractable problems in cancer. Leveraging MIT’s strengths in technology, the life sciences and interdisciplinary research, the KI is pursuing scientific excellence while also directly promoting innovative ways to diagnose, monitor, and treat cancer through advanced technology.

HISTORY The Koch Institute facility was made possible through a $100 million gift from MIT alumnus David H. Koch. Our new building opened in March 2011, coinciding with MIT’s 150th anniversary. Our community has grown out of the MIT Center for Cancer Research (CCR), which was founded in 1974 by Nobel Laureate and MIT Professor Salvador Luria, and is one of seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic (non-clinical) research centers in the U.S.

https://ki.mit.edu/files/ki/cfile/news/presskit/KI_Fact_Sheet_-_February_2018.pdf

January 28-29, 2019
Kresge Auditorium, MIT

Biological, chemical, and materials engineers are engaged at the forefront of immunology research. At their disposal is an analytical toolkit honed to solve problems in the petrochemical and materials industries, which share the presence of complex reaction networks, and convective and diffusive molecular transport. Powerful synthetic capabilities have also been crafted: binding proteins can be engineered with effectively arbitrary specificity and affinity, and multifunctional nanoparticles and gels have been designed to interact in highly specific fashions with cells and tissues. Fearless pursuit of knowledge and solutions across disciplinary boundaries characterizes this nascent discipline of immune engineering, synergizing with immunologists and clinicians to put immunotherapy into practice.

The 2019 symposium will include two poster sessions and four abstract-selected talks. Abstracts should be uploaded on the registration page. Abstract submission deadline is November 15, 2018. Registration closes December 14.

Featuring on Day 2, 1/29, 2019:

Session IV

Moderator: Michael Birnbaum, Koch Institute, MIT

 

Jamie Spangler (John Hopkins University)

“Reprogramming anti-cancer immunity through molecular engineering”

  • Reprogramming anti-cancer immunity response through molecular engineering”
  • Cytokines induce receptor dimerization
  • Clinical Use of cytokines: Pleiotropy, expression and stability isssues
  • poor pharmacological properties
  • cytokine therapy: New de novo protein using computational methods
  • IL-2 signals through a dimeric nad a trimeric receptor complex
  • IL-2 pleiotropy hinders its therapeutic efficacy
  • IL-2 activate immunosuppression
  • potentiation of cytokine activity by anti-IL-2 antibody selectivity
  • Cytokine binding – Antibodies compete with IL-2 receptor subunits
  • IL-2Ralpha, IL-2 Rbeta: S4B6 mimickry of alpha allosterically enhances beta
  • stimulates both Effectors and T-regs
  • JES6-1 immunocomplex selectively stimulates IL-2Ralpha cells
  • Engineering translational single-chain cytokine/antibody fusion
  • Engineering an EFFECTOR cell-based immunocytokine (602)
  • JES6-1 Immunocytokine – inhibiting melanoma
  • Engineering a Treg cell-biased immunocytokine
  • double mutant immunocytokine shows enhanced IL-2Ralpha exchange
  • Affinity  – molecular eng De Novo design of a hyper-stable, effector biased IL-2
  • De novo IL-2 poteniator in therapeutic superior to the natural cytokine by molecular engineering

 

Bryan Bryson (MIT, Department of Biological Engineering)

“Exploiting the macrophage axis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection”

  • TB  – who develop Active and why?
  • Immunological life cycle of Mtb
  • Global disease Mtb infection outcome varies within individual host
  • lesion are found by single bacteria
  • What are the cellular players in immune success
  • MACROPHAGES – molecular signals enhancing Mtb control of macrophages
  • modeling the host- macrophages are plastic and polarize
  • Building “libraries” – surface marker analysis of Microphages
  • Polarized macrophages are functionally different
  • quant and qual differences
  • History of GM-CSF suppresses IL-10
  • Loss of polarization potential: scRNAseq reveals transcriptional differences Thioredoxin facilitates immune response to Mtb is a marker of an inflammatory macrophage state
  • functional spectrum of human microphages

 

Facundo Batista (Ragon Institute (HIV Research) @MGH, MIT and Harvard)

“Vaccine evaluation in rapidly produced custom humanized mouse models”

  • Effective B cell activation requires 2 signals Antigen and binding to T cell
  • VDJ UCA (Unmutated common Ancestor)
  • B Cell Receptor (BCR) co-receptors and cytoskeleton
  • 44% in Women age 24-44
  • Prototype HIV broadly neutralizing Antibodies (bnAb) do not bind to Env protein – Immunogen design and validation
  • Target Identification –>> Immunogen Design –>>> Immunogen Validation
  • Human Ig Knock-ins [Light variable 5′ chain length vs 7′ length] decisive to inform immunogenicity – One-Step CRISPR approach does not require ES cell work
  • Proof of principle with BG18 Germline Heavy Chain (BG18-gH) High-mannose patch – mice exhibit normal B cell development
  • B cells from naive human germline BG18-gH bind to GT2 immunogen
  • GT2-nanoparticle 9NP) induces robust BG18-gH-500 cells: CD45.2 GL7 IgD
  • Interrogate immune response for HIV, Malaria, Zika, Flu

 

Session V

Moderator: Dane Wittrup, Koch Institute, MIT

 

Yvonne Chen (University of California, Los Angeles)

“Engineering smarter and stronger T cells for cancer immunotherapy”

  • Adoptive T-Cell Therapy
  • Tx for Leukemia – Tumor Antigen escape fro CAR T-cell therapy, CD19/CD20 OR-Gate CARs for prevention of antigen escape – 15 month of development
  • reduce probability of antigen escape due to two antigen CD19/CD20: Probing limits of modularity in CAR design
  • In vivo model: 75% wild type & 25% CD19 – relapse occur in the long term, early vs late vs no relapse: Tx with CAR t had no relapse
  • OR-Gate cause no relapse – Probing limits of modularity in CAR Design
  • Bispecific CARs are superior to DualCAR: One vs DualCAR (some remained single CAR)
  • Bispecific CARs exhibit superior antigen-stimulation capacity – OR-Gate CAR Outperforms Single-Input CARs
  • Lymphoma and Leukemia are 10% of all Cancers
  • TGF-gamma Rewiring T Cell Response
  • Activation of t Cell use CAR t
  • Engineer CAR-T to respond to soluble form of antigens: CD19 CAR Responds to soluble CD19
  • GFP MCAR responds to Dimeric GFP
  • “Tumor microenvironment is a scary place”

 

Michael Birnbaum, MIT, Koch Institute

“A repertoire of protective tumor immunity”

  • Decoding T and NK cell recognition – understanding immune recognition and signaling function for reprogramming the Immune system – Neoantigen vaccine pipeline
  • Personal neoantigen vax improve immunotherapy
  • CLASS I and CLASS II epitomes: MHC prediction performance – more accurate for CLASS I HLA polymorphisms
  • Immune Epitope DB and Analysis Resources 448,630 Peptide Epitomes
  • B cell assay: 413,000
  • T cell assays: 313,000
  • peptide sequence relationships – naturally occurring antigen predictions
  • Cleavable pMHC yeast display to determine peptide loading
  • HLA-DR4 libraries enrich a large collection of peptides: 96000 1/5 of entire peptide DB: Enriched motif, prediction algorithms
  • Algorithmic false negatives vs peptide concentration(nM)
  • HLA-DR4 effects outside of “peptide anchor” residues
  • Class I MHC – HLA-E down regulate T and NK cells
  • Receptor Binding: Positional preferences noted for NKG2A
  • Training data vs Algorithmic approach
  • Globally oriented –
  • TCR sequencing – TCR pairings – Multicell-per-well sequencing
  • MAD-HYPE algorithm

 

Glenn Dranoff, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

“Mechnism of protective tumor immunity”

  • Immune checkpoint blockade elicit 10 years survival in melanoma
  • PD-1 blockage esophageal carcinoma effective showing survival
  • renal cells, bladder
  • 20% benefit from Immuno therapy – CTLA-4 toxicity is high small % patient benefit
  • PD-1/PD-L1 anti CLTA-4 mAbs
  • solid tumors challenging
  • Requirement for effective IO – Tumor receptivity to immune infiltration
  • modulation
  • Novartis IO in the clinic: multiple tumor immune escape – complexity
  • Approach: focus trials aimed to learn immune response complementation groups manipulate into response
  • work with Engineering for delivery nimble to generate new data
  • Translational research in the clinic
  • CAR T cells
  • B cell malignancies are ideal targets for CAR T cells
  • Relapsed/Refractory – pediatric ALL refractory advanced to no relapse – complete response 80% – 6 years response
  • Antigen loss CD19 – targeting with combinatorial approach to avoid relapse
  • Large B cell lymphoma
  • Neurologic toxicities of CART t IL-6 activation
  • AML – complete response – weekly dose of XmAb CD123X CD3 bispecific antibody – protein engineering – anti tumor effect in refractory Leukemia
  • anaplastic thyroid carcinoma
  • PD-L1 blockade elicits responses in some patients: soft part sarcoma
  • LAG-3 combined with PD-1 – human peripheral blood tumor
  • TIM-3 key regulator of T cell and Myeloid cell function: correlates in the TCGA DB with myeloid
  • Adenosine level in blood or tissue very difficult to measure in blood even more than in tissue – NIR178 + PDR 001 Mono-therapy (NIR178) combine with PD receptor blockage (PDR) – shows benefit
  • A alone vs A+B in Clinical trial

 

Session VI

Moderator: Stefani Spranger, Koch Institute, MIT

 

Tim Springer, Boston Children’s Hospital, HMS

The Milieu Model for TGF-Betta Activation”

  • Protein Science – Genomics with Protein
  • Antibody Initiative – new type of antibodies not a monoclonal antibody – a different type
  • Pro TGF-beta
  • TGF-beta – not a typical cytokine it is a prodamine for Mature growth factor — 33 genes mono and heterogeneous dimers
  • Latent TGF-Beta1 crystal structure: prodomaine shields the Growth Factor
  • Mechanism od activation of pro-TGF-beta – integrin alphaVBeta 6: pro-beta1:2
  • Simulation in vivo: actin cytoskeleton cytoplasmic domain
  • LIFE CYCLE OF PROTGF-BETA
  • LRRC33 – GARP class relative
  • microglia and macrophage – link TGF-beta phenotype knock outs
  • TGF compartments of microglia separated myelination loss
  • Inhibition of TGF-beta enhances immune checkpoint
  • Loss of LRRC33-dependent TGF-beta signaling would counteract immune suppression in tumor and in slow tumor growth
  • lung metastasis of B16 in melanoma
  • immuno-histo-chemistry: LRRC33 tumor-associated myeloid cell lack cell surface proTGF-beta1
  • blocking antibodies LRRC33 mitigate toxicity on PD-L1 treatment

 

Alex Shalek, MIT, Department of Chemistry, Koch Institute

“Identifying and rationally modulating cellular drivers of enhanced immunity”

  • Balance in the Immune system
  • Profiling Granulomas  using Seq-Well 2.0
  • lung tissue in South Africa of TB patients
  • Granulomas, linking cell type abundance with burden
  • Exploring T cells Phenotypes
  • Cytotoxic & Effector ST@+ Regulatory
  • Vaccine against TB – 19% effective, only 0 IV BCG vaccination can elicit sterilizing Immunity
  • Profiling cellular response to vaccination
  • T cell gene modules across vaccine routes
  • T Cells, Clusters
  • Expression of Peak and Memory
  • Immunotherapy- Identifying Dendritic cells enhanced in HIV-1 Elite Controllers
  • moving from Observing to Engineering
  • Cellular signature: NK-kB Signaling
  • Identifying and testing Cellular Correlates of TB Protection
  • Beyond Biology: Translation research: Data sets: dosen

 

Session VII

Moderator: Stefani Spranger, Koch Institute, MIT

 

Diane Mathis, Harvard Medical School

“Tissue T-regs”

  • T reg populations in Lymphoid Non–lymphoid Tissues
  • 2009 – Treg tissue homeostasis status – sensitivity to insulin, 5-15% CD4+ T compartment
  •  transcriptome
  • expanded repertoires TCRs
  • viceral adipose tissue (VAT) –  Insulin
  • Dependencies: Taget IL-33 its I/1r/1 – encoded Receptor ST2
  • VAT up-regulate I/1r/1:ST2 Signaling
  • IL-33 – CD45 negative CD31 negative
  • mSC Production of IL-33 is Important to Treg
  • The mesenchyme develops into the tissues of the lymphatic and circulatory systems, as well as the musculoskeletal system. This latter system is characterized as connective tissues throughout the body, such as bone, muscle and cartilage. A malignant cancer of mesenchymal cells is a type of sarcoma.
  • mesenchymal Stromal Cells – mSC – some not all, VAT mSCs express IL-33
  • development of a mAb Panel for sorting the mSC Subtypes
  • Deeper transcriptome for Phenotyping of VAT mSCs
  • physiologic & pathologic perturbation
  1. Age-dependent Treg and mSC changes – Linear with increase in age
  2. Sex-dependent Treg and mSC changes – Female
  • Treg loss in cases of Obesity leading to fibrosis
  • Treg keep IL-33-Producing mSCs under rein
  • Lean tissue vs Obese tissue
  • Aged mice show poor skeletal muscle repair – it is reverses by IL-33 Injection
  • Immuno-response: target tissues systemic T reg
  • Treg and mSC

 

Aviv Regev, Broad Institute; Koch Institute

“Cell atlases as roadmaps to understand Cancer”

  • Colon disease UC – genetic underlining risk, – A single cell atlas of healthy and UC colonic mucosa inflammed and non-inflammed: Epithelial, stromal, Immune – fibroblast not observed in UC colon IAFs; IL13RA2 + IL11
  • Anti TNF responders – epithelial cells
  • Anti TNF non-responders – inflammatory monocytes fibroblasts
  • RESISTANCE to anti-cancer therapy: OSM (Inflammatory monocytes-OSMR (IAF)
  • cell-cell interactions from variations across individuals
  • Most UC-risk genes are cell type specific
  • Variation within a cell type helps predict GWAS gene functions – epithelial cell signature – organize US GWAS into cell type specific – genes in associated regions: UC and IBD

 

  • Melanoma
  • malignant cells with resistance in cold niches in situ
  • cells express the resistance program pre-treatment: resistance UP – cold
  • Predict checkpoint immunotherapy outcomes
  • CDK4/6 – computational search predict as program regulators: abemaciclib in cell lines

 

 

 

Poster Presenters

Preeti Sharma, University of Illinois

T cell receptor and CAR-T engineering – T cell therapy

  • TCR Complex: Vbeta Cbeta P2A Valpha Calpha
  • CAR-T Aga2 HA scTCR/scFv c-myc
  • Directed elovution to isolate optimal TCR or CAR
  • Eng TCR and CARt cell therapy
  • Use of TCRs against pep/MHC allows targeting a n array of cancer antigens
  • TCRs are isolated from T cell clones
  • Conventional TCR identification method vs In Vitro TCR Eng directed evolution
  • T1 and RD1 TCRs drive activity against MART-1 in CD4+ T cells
  • CD8+
  • TCR engineering for Targeting glycosylated cancer antigens
  • Normal glycosylation vs Aberrant glycosylation
  • Engineering 237-CARs  libraries with conjugated (Tn-OTS8) against multiple human Tn-antigend
  • In vitro engineering: broaden specificity to multiple peptide backbone
  • CAR engineering collaborations with U Chicago, U Wash, UPenn, Copenhagen, Germany

 

Martin LaFleur, HMS

CRISPR- Cas9 Bone marrow stem cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

  • CHIME: CHimeric IMmune Editing system
  • sgRNA-Vex
  • CHIME can be used to KO genes in multiple immune lineages
  • identify T cell intrinsic effects in the LCMV model Spleen-depleted, Spleen enhanced
  • Loss of Ptpn2 enhances CD8+ T cell responses to LCMV and Tumors
  • Ptpn2 deletion in the immune system enhanced tumor immunity
  • CHIME enables in vivo screening

 

 

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Live 12:00 – 1:00 P.M  Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle: A Symposium on Diet and Human Health : October 19, 2018

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

12.00 The Italian Mediterranean Diet as a Model of Identity of a People with a Universal Good to Safeguard Health?

Prof. Antonino De Lorenzo, MD, PhD.

Director of the School of Specialization in Clinical Nutrition, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

It is important to determine how our bodies interacts with the environment, such as absorption of nutrients.

Studies shown here show decrease in life expectancy of a high sugar diet, but the quality of the diet, not just the type of diet is important, especially the role of natural probiotics and phenolic compounds found in the Mediterranean diet.

The WHO report in 2005 discusses the unsustainability of nutrition deficiencies and suggest a proactive personalized and preventative/predictive approach of diet and health.

Most of the noncommunicable diseases like CV (46%) cancer 21% and 11% respiratory and 4% diabetes could be prevented and or cured with proper dietary approaches

Italy vs. the US diseases: in Italy most disease due to environmental contamination while US diet plays a major role

The issue we are facing in less than 10% of the Italian population (fruit, fibers, oils) are not getting the proper foods, diet and contributing to as we suggest 46% of the disease

The Food Paradox: 1.5 billion are obese; we notice we are eating less products of quality and most quality produce is going to waste;

  •  growing BMI and junk food: our studies are correlating the junk food (pre-prepared) and global BMI
  • modern diet and impact of human health (junk food high in additives, salt) has impact on microflora
  • Western Diet and Addiction: We show a link (using brain scans) showing correlation of junk food, sugar cravings, and other addictive behaviors by affecting the dopamine signaling in the substantia nigra
  • developed a junk food calculator and a Mediterranean diet calculator
  • the intersection of culture, food is embedded in the Mediterranean diet; this is supported by dietary studies of two distinct rural Italian populations (one of these in the US) show decrease in diet
  • Impact of diet: have model in Germany how this diet can increase health and life expectancy
  • from 1950 to present day 2.7 unit increase in the diet index can increase life expectancy by 26%
  • so there is an inverse relationship with our index and breast cancer

Environment and metal contamination and glyphosate: contribution to disease and impact of maintaining the healthy diet

  • huge problem with use of pesticides and increase in celiac disease

12:30 Environment and Health

Dr. Iris Maria Forte, PhD.

National Cancer Institute “Pascale” Foundation | IRCCS · Department of Research, Naples, Italy

Cancer as a disease of the environment.  Weinberg’s hallmarks of Cancer reveal how environment and epigenetics can impact any of these hallmarks.

Epigenetic effects

  • gene gatekeepers (Rb and P53)
  • DNA repair and damage stabilization

Heavy Metals and Dioxins:( alterations of the immune system as well as epigenetic regulations)

Asbestos and Mesothelioma:  they have demonstrated that p53 can be involved in development of mesothelioma as reactivating p53 may be a suitable strategy for therapy

Diet, Tomato and Cancer

  • looked at tomato extract on p53 function in gastric cancer: tomato extract had a growth reduction effect and altered cell cycle regulation and results in apoptosis
  • RBL2 levels are increased in extract amount dependent manner so data shows effect of certain tomato extracts of the southern italian tomato (     )

Antonio Giordano: we tested whole extracts of almost 30 different varieties of tomato.  The tomato variety  with highest activity was near Ravela however black tomatoes have shown high antitumor activity.  We have done a followup studies showing that these varieties, if grow elsewhere lose their antitumor activity after two or three generations of breeding, even though there genetics are similar.  We are also studying the effects of different styles of cooking of these tomatoes and if it reduces antitumor effect

please see post https://news.temple.edu/news/2017-08-28/muse-cancer-fighting-tomatoes-study-italian-food

 

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Lectures by The 2017 Award Recipients of Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in Cancer Immunology, October 5, 2017, HMS, 77 Louis Paster, Boston

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Top, from left: James Allison and Lieping Chen. Bottom, from left: Gordon Freeman, Tasuku Honjo (NOT ATTENDED), Arlene Sharpe.

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN was in attendance and covered this event LIVE

 

The 2017 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize has been awarded to five scientists for transformative discoveries in the field of cancer immunology.

Collectively, their work has elucidated foundational mechanisms in cancer’s ability to evade immune recognition and, in doing so, has profoundly altered the understanding of disease development and treatment. Their discoveries have led to the development of effective immune therapies for several types of cancer.

The 2017 award recipients are:

  • James Allison, professor of immunology and chair of the Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Immune checkpoint blockage in Cancer Therapy strictly Genomics based drug
  1. 2017 FDA approved a genomics based drug
  2. and co-stimulatory signals
  3. CTLA-4 blockade, CD28, AntiCTLA-4 induces regression of Transplantable Murine tumor
  4. enhance tumor-specific immune response
  5. Fully antibody human immune response in 10,000 patients – FDA approved 2011
  6. Metastatic melanoma – 3 years survival, programmed tumor death, PD-1, MHC-A1
  7. Ipi/Nivo vs. Ipi – combination – 60% survival vs Ipi alone
  8. Anti CTA4 vs Anti-PD-1
  9. responsive T cell population – MC38 TILs
  10. MC38 Infiltrating T cell populations: T-reg, CD4, Effector, CD8, NKT/gamma-delta
  11. Checkpoint blockage modulates infiltrating T cell population frequencies
  12. T reg correlated with Tumor growth
  13. Combination therapy lead to CURE survival at 80% rate vs CTAL-4 40% positive outcome

Not Attended — Tasuku Honjo, professor of immunology and genomic medicine, Kyoto University – Immune regulation of Cancer Therapy by PD-1 Blockade

 

  • Lieping Chen, United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of immunobiology, of dermatology and of medicine, Yale University – Adoptive Resistance: Molecular Pathway t Cancer Therapy – focus on solid tumors
  1. Enhancement – Enhance normal immune system – Co-stimulation/Co-inhibition Treg, and Cytokines, adoptive cell therapy, Lymphoid organs stores
  2. Normalization – to correct defective immune system – normalizing tumor immunity, diverse tumor escape mechanisms
  3. Anti-PD therapy: regression of large solid tumors: normalizing tumor immunity targeting tumor microenvironment: Heterogeneity, functional modulation, cellular and molecular components – classification by LACK of inflamation, adaptive resistance, other inhibitory pathways, intrinsic induction
  4. avoid autoimmune toxicity,
  5. Resetting immune response (melanoma)
  6. Understad Resistance: Target missing resistance or Adaptive resistance Type II= acquired immunity
  • Gordon Freeman, professor of medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School – PD-L1/PD-1 Cancer Immunotherapy
  1. B7 antibody
  2. block pathway – checkpoint blockage, Expand the T cells after recognition of the disease. T cell receptor signal, activation, co -stimulatory: B71 molecule, B72 – survival signals and cytokine production,.Increased T cell proliferation,
  3. PDL-1 is a ligand of PD 1. How T cell die? genes – PD1 Gene was highly expressed,
  4. Interferon gamma upregulate PD-L1 expression
  5. Feedback loop Tumor – stimulating immune response, interferon turn off PD1
  6. PD-L1 and PD-L2 Expression: Interferom
  7. Trancefuctor MHC, B7-2
  8. PD-L! sisgnat inhibit T-cell activation: turn off Proliferation and cytokine production — Decreasing the immune response
  9. T cell DNA Content: No S-phase devided cell
  10. PD-L1 engagement of PD-1 results in activation : Pd-1 Pathway inhibits T Cell Actiivation – lyposite motility,
  11. Pd-L2 is a second ligand for PD-1 and inhibits T cell activation
  12. PDl-1 expression: BR CA, Ovarian, Colonol-rectal, tymus, endothelial
  13. Blockage of the Pathway – Immune response enhanced
  14. Dendritic cells express PD-L1, PD-L2 and combination of Two, Combination was best of all by increase of cytokine production, increasing the immune response.
  15. PD-L1 blockade enhanced the immune response , increase killing and increased production of cytokines,
  16. anti-tumor efficacy of anti-PD-1/Pd-L1
  17. Pancreatic and colono-rector — PD-L, PDL1, PDL2 — does not owrkd.
  18. In menaloma: PD-1 works better than CYLA-4
  19. Comparison of Targeted Therapy: BRAF TKI vs Chemo high % but short term
  20. Immunotherapy – applies several mechanism: pre-existing anti-therapy
  21. Immune desert: PD=L does not work for them
  22. COMBINATION THERAPY: BLOCK TUMOR INVASION THEN STIMULATE IMMUNE RESPONSE — IT WILL WORK
  23. PD blockage + nutrients and probiotic
  24. Tumor Genome Therapy
  25. Tumore Immuno-evasion Score
  26. Antigens for immune response – choose the ones
  27. 20PD-1 or PD-L1 drugs in development
  28. WHO WILL THE DRUG WORK FOR?

 

  • Arlene Sharpe, the George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology, Harvard Medical School; senior scientist, department of pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Multi-faceted Functionsof the PD-1 Pathway
  1. function of the pathway: control T cell activation and function of maintain immune tolerance
  2. protect tissues from damage by immune response
  3. T cell dysfunction during cancer anf viral infection
  4. protection from autoimmunity, inflammation,
  5. Mechanism by which PD-1 pathway inhibits anti-tumor immunity
  6. regulation of memoryT cell responce of PD-1
  7. PD-1 signaling inhibit anti-tumor immunity
  8. Compare: Mice lacking CD8-Cre- (0/5) cleared vs PD-1-/-5/5 – PD-1 DELETION: PARTIAL AND TIMED: DELETION OF PD-1 ON HALF OG TILS STARTING AT DAY 7 POSTTUMOR IMPLANTATION OF BOTH PD-1 AND PD-1 TILS: – Tamoxifen days 7-11
  9. Transcription profile: analysis of CD8+ TILs reveal altered metabolism: Fatty Acid Metabolism vs Oxidative Phosphorylation
  10. DOes metabolic shift: WIld type mouth vs PD-1-/_ P14: analyze Tumor cell killingPD-1-/- enhanced FAO increases CD8+ T cell tocicity
  11. Summary: T cell memory development and PD-1: T effectors vs T cell memory: Primary vs Secondary infection: In the absent of PD-1, CD8+ T cels show increase expansion of T cells
  12. INFLUENZA INFECTION: PRIMARY more virus in lung in PD-1 is lacking
  13. Acute infection: PD-1 controls memory T cell differentiation vs PD-1 increase expansion during effector phase BUT impaired persistence during memory phase: impaired cytokine production post re-challenge
  14. PD-1 immunotherapy work for patients with tumor: Recall Response and Primary response
  15. TIL density Primary vs Long term survivor – 5 days post tumor implantation – rechallenged long term survival
  16. Hot tumor vs Cold tumor – Deletion of PD-1 impairs T memory cell development

 

Opening Remarks: George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, DEAN, HMS

  • Scientific collaboration check point – avoid the body attacking itself, sabotaging the immune system
  • 1987 – Vaccine for HepB
  • Eight of the awardees got the Nobel Prize

 

Moderated by Joan Brugge, PhD, HMS, Prof. of Cell Biology

  • Evolution of concepts of Immunotherapy: William Coley’s Toxin streptoccocus skin infection.
  • 20th century: Immuno-surveilence, Immune response – field was dead in 1978 replaced by Immunotherapy
  • Rosenberg at NIH, high dose of costimulatory molecule prevented tumor reappearanceantbody induce tumor immunity–>> immune theraphy by check point receptor blockade – incidence of tumor in immune compromised mice – transfer T cell
  • T cell defficient, not completely defficient, self recognition of tumor,
  • suppress immmune – immune evasion
  • Michael Atkins, MD, Detupy Director, Georgetown-Lombardi, Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical applications of Checkpoint inhibitors: Progress and Promise
  1. Overwhelm the Immune system, hide, subvert, Shield, defend-deactivating tumor trgeting T cells that ATTACK the immune system
  2. Immune system to TREAT the cancer
  3. Monotherapy – anti PD1/PD-L1: Antagonist activity
  4. Evading immune response: prostate, colcn
  5. MMR deficiency
  6. Nivolumab in relaped/Refractory HODGKIN LYMPHOMAS – over expression of PD-L1 and PDL2in Lymphomas
  7. 18 month survival better with Duv in Lung cancer stage 3 – anti PD-1- adjuvant therapy with broad effectiveness
  8. Biomarkers for pD-L1 Blockage
  9. ORR higher in PD-L1
  10. Improve Biomarkers: Clonality of T cells in Tumors
  11. T-effector Myeloid Inflammation Low – vs Hogh:
  12. Biomarker Model: Neoantigen burden vs Gene expression vs CD8+
  13. Tissue DIagnostic Labs: Tumor microenveironmenr
  14. Microbiome
  15. Combination: Nivo vs Nivo+Ipi is superior: DETERMINE WHEN TO STOP TREATMENT
  16. 15/16 stopped treatment – Treatment FREE SURVIVAL
  17. Sequencing with Standard Therapies
  18. Brain metastasis – Immune Oncology Therapy – crosses the BBB
  19. Less Toxic regimen, better toxicity management,
  20. Use Immuno therapy TFS
  21. combination – survival must be justified
  22. Goal: to make Cancer a curable disease vs cancer becoming a CHronic disease

 

Closing Remarks: George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, DEAN, HMS

 

The honorees will share a $500,000 prize and will be recognized at a day-long symposium on Oct. 5 at Harvard Medical School.

The Warren Alpert Foundation, in association with Harvard Medical School, honors trailblazing scientists whose work has led to the understanding, prevention, treatment or cure of human disease. The award recognizes seminal discoveries that hold the promise to change our understanding of disease or our ability to treat it.

“The discoveries honored by the Warren Alpert Foundation over the years are remarkable in their scope and potential,” said George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School. “The work of this year’s recipients is nothing short of breathtaking in its profound impact on medicine. These discoveries have reshaped our understanding of the body’s response to cancer and propelled our ability to treat several forms of this recalcitrant disease.”

The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize is given internationally. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $4 million to 59 scientists. Since the award’s inception, eight honorees have also received a Nobel Prize.

“We commend these five scientists. Allison, Chen, Freeman, Honjoand Sharpe are indisputable standouts in the field of cancer immunology,” said Bevin Kaplan, director of the Warren Alpert Foundation. “Collectively, they are helping to turn the tide in the global fight against cancer. We couldn’t honor more worthy recipients for the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize.”

The 2017 award: Unraveling the mysterious interplay between cancer and immunity

Understanding how tumor cells sabotage the body’s immune defenses stems from the collective work of many scientists over many years and across multiple institutions.

Each of the five honorees identified key pieces of the puzzle.

The notion that cancer and immunity are closely connected and that a person’s immune defenses can be turned against cancer is at least a century old. However, the definitive proof and demonstration of the steps in this process were outlined through findings made by the five 2017 Warren Alpert prize recipients.

Under normal conditions, so-called checkpoint inhibitor molecules rein in the immune system to ensure that it does not attack the body’s own cells, tissues and organs. Building on each other’s work, the five award recipients demonstrated how this normal self-defense mechanism can be hijacked by tumors as a way to evade immune surveillance and dodge an attack. Subverting this mechanism allows cancer cells to survive and thrive.

A foundational discovery made in the 1980s elucidated the role of a molecule on the surface of T cells, the body’s elite assassins trained to seek, spot and destroy invaders.

A protein called CTLA-4 emerged as a key regulator of T cell behavior—one that signals to T cells the need to retreat from an attack. Experiments in mice lacking CTLA-4 and use of CTLA-4 antibodies demonstrated that absence of CTLA-4 or blocking its activity could lead to T cell activation and tumor destruction.

Subsequent work identified a different protein on the surface of T cells—PD-1—as another key regulator of T cell response. Mice lacking this protein developed an autoimmune disease as a result of aberrant T cell activity and over-inflammation.

Later on, scientists identified a molecule, B7-H1, subsequently renamed PD-L1, which binds to PD-1, clicking like a key in a lock. This was followed by the discovery of a second partner for PD-1—the molecule PD-L2—which also appeared to tame T-cell activity by binding to PD-1.

The identification of these molecules led to a set of studies showing that their presence on human and mouse tumors rendered the tumors resistant to immune eradication.

A series of experiments further elucidated just how tumors exploit the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 to survive. Specifically, some tumor cells appeared to express PD-L1, essentially “wrapping” themselves in it to avoid immune recognition and destruction.

Additional work demonstrated that using antibodies to block this interaction disarmed the tumors, rendering them vulnerable to immune destruction.

Collectively, the five scientists’ findings laid the foundation for antibody-based therapies that modulate the function of these molecules as a way to unleash the immune system against cancer cells.

Antibody therapy that targets CTLA-4 is currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of melanoma. PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors have already shown efficacy in a broad range of cancers and have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of melanoma; kidney; lung; head and neck cancer; bladder cancer; some forms of colorectal cancer; Hodgkin lymphoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.

In their own words

“I am humbled to be included among the illustrious scientists who have been honored by the Warren Alpert Foundation for their contributions to the treatment and cure of human disease in its 30+ year history.  It is also recognition of the many investigators who have labored for decades to realize the promise of the immune system in treating cancer.”
        -James Allison


“The award is a great honor and a wonderful recognition of our work.”
         Lieping Chen



I am thrilled to have made a difference in the lives of cancer patients and to be recognized by fellow scientists for my part in the discovery of the PD-1/PD-L1 and PD-L2 pathway and its role in tumor immune evasion.  I am deeply honored to be a recipient of the Alpert Award and to be recognized for my part in the work that has led to effective cancer immunotherapy. The success of immunotherapy has unleashed the energies of a multitude of scientists to further advance this novel strategy.”
                                        -Gordon Freeman


I am extremely honored to receive the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize. I am very happy that our discovery of PD-1 in 1992 and subsequent 10-year basic research on PD-1 led to its clinical application as a novel cancer immunotherapy. I hope this development will encourage many scientists working in the basic biomedical field.”
-Tasuku Honjo


“I am truly honored to be a recipient of the Alpert Award. It is especially meaningful to be recognized by my colleagues for discoveries that helped define the biology of the CTLA-4 and PD-1 pathways. The clinical translation of our fundamental understanding of these pathways illustrates the value of basic science research, and I hope this inspires other scientists.”
-Arlene Sharpe

Previous winners

Last year’s award went to five scientists who were instrumental in the discovery and development of the CRISPR bacterial defense mechanism as a tool for gene editing. They were RodolpheBarrangou of North Carolina State University, Philippe Horvath of DuPont in Dangé-Saint-Romain, France, Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and Umeå University in Sweden, and Virginijus Siksnys of the Institute of Biotechnology at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

Other past recipients include:

  • Tu Youyou of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, who went on to receive the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two others, and Ruth and Victor Nussenzweig, of NYU Langone Medical Center, for their pioneering discoveries in chemistry and parasitology of malaria and the translation of their work into the development of drug therapies and an anti-malarial vaccine.
  • Oleh Hornykiewicz of the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Toronto; Roger Nicoll of the University of California, San Francisco; and Solomon Snyder of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research into neurotransmission and neurodegeneration.
  • David Botstein of Princeton University and Ronald Davis and David Hogness of Stanford University School of Medicine for contributions to the concepts and methods of creating a human genetic map.
  • Alain Carpentier of Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou in Paris and Robert Langer of MIT for innovations in bioengineering.
  • Harald zur Hausen and Lutz Gissmann of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg for work on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer of the cervix. Zur Hausenand others were honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.

The Warren Alpert Foundation

Each year the Warren Alpert Foundation receives between 30 and 50 nominations from scientific leaders worldwide. Prize recipients are selected by the foundation’s scientific advisory board, which is composed of distinguished biomedical scientists and chaired by the dean of Harvard Medical School.

Warren Alpert (1920-2007), a native of Chelsea, Mass., established the prize in 1987 after reading about the development of a vaccine for hepatitis B. Alpert decided on the spot that he would like to reward such breakthroughs, so he picked up the phone and told the vaccine’s creator, Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, that he had won a prize. Alpert then set about creating the foundation.

To award subsequent prizes, Alpert asked Daniel Tosteson (1925-2009), then dean of Harvard Medical School, to convene a panel of experts to identify scientists from around the world whose research has had a direct impact on the treatment of disease.

SOURCE

https://hms.harvard.edu/news/warren-alpert-foundation-honors-pioneers-cancer-immunology

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