Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kobold – Stellvertretender Direktor, Abteilung für Klinische Pharmakologie, Klinikum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Why is cancer dubbed a widespread disease? Because there is a cancer diagnosis almost every minute. For the treatment of cancer, antibody-based immunotherapies, during which the body's own immune response is specifically directed against cancer cells, are considered a forward-looking approach. The biggest challenge: current approaches fail to combine high specificity (efficacy) with low toxicity (side effects) at the same time. In the case of T-cell-recruiting therapies, this leads to overstimulation of the immune system and discontinuation of therapy.
To address these issues, the team has developed a nanoswitch for antibodies. The DNA-based nanoswitch - the LOGIc-gated antiBODY (LOGIBODY) – consists of an "if-then logic": if the tumor cell is bound, then the immune system is recruited. LOGIBODY thus only acts on the tumor. At the same time, the nanoswitch is in the "off" state in healthy tissue, reducing side effects.
The goal is to realize an immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer that uses switchable LOGIBODIES. This should make therapy more effective with fewer side effects. Since LOGIBODY is a platform technology, the team can transfer the approach from indication to indication in a modular way by exchanging the antibodies - a disruptive approach in cancer immunotherapy.ion.
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