The Cancer immunology program studies the immunological processes involved in cancer development, immune monitoring and aims to develop innovative methods to treat cancer with a focus on tumor-host interactions and its microenvironment. Malignancies of the hematopoietic system (leukemia) and in different organs such as skin, lung, colon, cervix, pancreas, head/neck and brain are studied. Many tumors are difficult to treat due to immune suppression and this theme aims at identifying the immune suppressive mechanisms used by the tumor to evade the antitumor immune response. Moreover, innovative immune therapies will be developed that will allow for better treatment of patients in combination with standard therapies.
The goal of the Cancer immunology program for the next five years is to identify immune parameters that provide therapeutic leads and prognostic or predictive biomarkers. We envisage that a solid combination of basic research and translational studies will form the basis of understanding immune escape mechanisms and will ultimately lead to innovative clinical strategies to achieve effective and potentially curative cancer treatment.