OREANDA-NEWS  Thermo Fisher Scientific today announced its Center of Excellence in Immunotherapy Program designed to build strategic collaborations and accelerate research and clinical trials in immuno-oncology around the globe. The Washington University School of Medicine is the first institution to partner with the company as part of the new program and will incorporate a complete workflow for biomarker work from novel whole transcriptome technologies to single cell assays.

Dr. Robert Schreiber, Alumni Professor, Pathology and Immunology; Professor, Molecular Microbiology, and Director of the Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs (CHiiPs) at Washington University School of Medicine, is leading research at CHiiPs to develop individualized therapeutic cancer vaccines. Schreiber and colleagues are employing genomic and bioinformatic approaches to identify mutations within tumors that form tumor-specific neoantigens.

Additionally, the research team is working to produce vaccines designed to target neoantigens that are unique to a variety of cancer types and to each patient – essentially developing a personalized method to address the disease. The potential clinical course of each treated patient could then be followed by monitoring the evolution of their tumor-specific immune response and the effects of the vaccine on their tumor burden.

“Integrating Thermo Fisher Scientific’s full complement of instrumentation and reagents provides great value to our workflow,” said Schreiber. “The capacity to assess expression of mutant neoantigens and other tumor specific immune targets in clinical research samples via mass spectrometry, and assess the therapeutic effects of our vaccines using transcriptome arrays, in situ RNA assays, and immunoassays provide us with the sensitivities and specificities we need to attack this novel therapeutic program. We are confident this new relationship will allow us to make rapid advances towards our scientific and therapeutic goals.”

As part of the Center of Excellence Program, members of the CHiiPs Immunomonitoring Laboratory will utilize a Thermo Fisher technology-led workflow, including transcriptomic profiling of clinical trial samples, deep immune profiling with immuno-assays, antigen discovery using the latest generation of mass spectrometry technologies and RNA-ISH technologies to explore novel targets through in-situ analysis of tumor microenvironments.