A new Norwegian research collaboration helps uncover what treatments are the right fit for American cancer patients. Who are the collaborators and what are they doing?
There’s a lot of excitement and optimism concerning immuno-oncology, where the method is to utilize a person’s own immune system to treat cancer. However, excitement aside, methods such as this are often a costly experience, in expenses as well as negative and unpredictable side-effects for the person in treatment.
Company OncoImmunity is collaborating with the Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium (NCGC) in finding out what is causing these serious and unpredictable side-effects.
– This collaboration is an exciting opportunity for us. This is because we can demonstrate the strength of our advanced bioinformatics tools and show how they can be used to detect combinations of genetic variation in the patient, as well as neoantigens in the tumour that can further be used as biomarkers for sensitivity to this type of cancer treatment, says Dr. Richard Stratford, CEO of OncoImmunity, in a recent press release.
OncoImmunity develops proprietary machine-learning software for personalized cancer immunotherapy. The company previously won a prestigious European grant for their work.
You can read about it here!
Patients with sarcomas
The researchers in the collaboration analyse the patient’s genes in the tumour. More specifically, they are looking at American patients by using pembrolizumab, a humanized antibody that blocks cancer protection, on patients with sarcoma – cancer in various binding tissues.
Sarcomas are a rare form of cancer where treatment for such procedures have not developed as much as other cancer treatments. Patients who have sarcoma have generally a worse prognosis than other groups.
The research will be shared with the organization Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC), helping researchers within the organization to better utilize the results.
The NCGC perspective
The NCGC has, with help from the Norwegian Research Council, established a platform for advanced analysis for such cases. On top of this, they have a vast network of expertise within the area of molecular oncology.
– We find it exciting to see better treatments that can work for multiple cancers where treatment provides promising results, despite limited response, says Professor Ola Myklebost, leader for NCGC and the research project, in a recent press release.
– It is important to be able to choose the right patients for the right treatments. Not only because the treatment is high in cost, but also because of the serious and negative side-effects, he adds.