Seminar: Unveiling the Potential of Oncoantigen Targeting in Cancer Immunotherapy: Lessons from Murine and Canine Preclinical Models

Event-Datum: 07.11.2023

When: November 7, 16:00h-17:00h

Where: Bio-Technopark, DINAQOR Auditorium, Wagistrasse 25, 8952 Schlieren

Federica Cavallo is a Full Professor of Immunology (General Pathology) at the University of Turin, Medical School, and leads the Oncoimmunology Lab at the Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences at the University of Turin, Italy. Her pioneering research is at the forefront of cancer immunotherapy. The primary mission of her lab is to uncover and harness the potential of oncoantigens — cancer antigens that resist immune evasion — making them promising targets for innovative anti-tumor vaccination strategies.

In their pursuit of this mission, the Oncoimmunology Lab has adopted a multifaceted approach. They have engineered a diverse array of vaccination platforms, including DNA-based, Virus-Like Particle (VLP)-based, and Oncolytic-virus-based vaccines, all specifically designed to target identified oncoantigens. Among these targets is the cystine/glutamate antiporter system xCT, which plays a crucial role in various processes vital to the metastatic seeding of mammary cancer cells. To validate the efficacy of anti-xCT vaccines, the lab has employed murine pre-clinical models, demonstrating that vaccination effectively halts the metastatic progression of breast cancer.

Another compelling success story within the Oncoimmunology Lab’s research portfolio is the Condroitin Sulphate Proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) target. For this target, they have developed a chimeric DNA-vaccine that seamlessly integrates human and canine sequences of the CSPG4 molecule. This exceptional vaccine has not only demonstrated its effectiveness within pre-clinical mouse models of melanoma and osteosarcoma but has also been successfully administered to client-owned dogs affected by spontaneous CSPG4+ melanoma and osteosarcoma. These outcomes are particularly noteworthy, as canine models are highly predictive of the response to immunotherapy in human patients.

Seminar Flyer