Magnus Essand – Cancer immunotherapy
We develop novel CAR-T cells, oncolytic viruses and viral vectors that induce bystander immunity and reshape the tumor microenvironment to improve cancer immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy has during the last decade proven to be effective and gained a strong position in clinical oncology. Although tremendous achievements have been made, we have only just begun the work to understand how immune regulatory mechanisms in cancer can be exploited for treatment.
Our research programs aim to understand the mechanisms that make cancer cells escape immune recognition and use this knowledge to develop new and better immunotherapies. We create innovative chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells, oncolytic viruses and viral vectors and arm them with factors that can increase T cell recruitment and induce potent anti-tumor immune responses. To address antigen heterogeneity within solid tumors, we strive to develop immunotherapy products that can induce bystander immunity with epitope spreading and activation of endogenous tumor antigen-specific cytolytic T cells.
Most of our research is pre-clinical, but oncolytic viruses and CAR-T cells developed in the research group are currently being evaluated in clinical trials at Uppsala University Hospital. We are continuously developing more sophisticated products, and we anticipate that novel armed CAR-T cells, oncolytic viruses, and viral vectors will enter clinical trials within the coming years.