Exploring and exploiting the immune microenvironment of brain tumors
Ángel Francisco Álvarez Prado
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR), Lausanne, Switzerland
Brain cancer constitutes a critical public health issue, with primary glioblastoma (GB) and brain metastatic (BrM) cancer patients presenting a dismal prognosis due to poor responses to existing therapies. The importance of the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) in dynamically regulating cancer progression and shaping responses to therapy is now widely recognized, and multiple treatments targeting different components of the TIME have been developed in recent years. However, there is still a large fraction of brain cancer patients who remain unresponsive to these therapies, highlighting the complexity of the TIME and the need for a better understanding of its pro- and anti-tumoral roles.
In this seminar, I will present a novel strategy to treat primary GB tumors and recent work exploring the immunogenomic landscape of human BrMs. The first part of my talk will focus on how we can exploit an innate immunity checkpoint to trigger anti-tumoral mechanisms in pre-clinical models of GB. In the second part, we will discuss how genetic variation can instruct specific immunophenotypes in the TIME of BrMs and how we can use this information to develop personalized immunotherapies.