Guadalupe Cabral, researcher from Tissue Repair and Inflammation Lab received LPCC/NRS/Terry Fox 2019-2020 Grant for the project entitled "Dissecting the predictive and therapeutic value of HLA-DR-expressing cytotoxic T lymphocytes in Breast Cancer"
Breast cancer (BC) remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard treatment for locally advanced Breast Cancer, though nearly half of the patients do not respond. To promptly direct neoadjuvant chemotherapy non-responders to more efficient treatments, saving time, avoiding the misuse of resources and the potential toxicity associated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the prediction of patients’ response and the establishment of alternative more personalized therapies are urgent needs.
In this project, Guadalupe Cabral and her team aim to confirm the worth of specific immune cells, named HLA-DR+CTLs, as a reliable biomarker, according to REMARK (Recommendations for Tumor Marker Prognostic Studies) criteria, by conducting a validation study in an independent cohort. Moreover, the researchers intend to further explore the role of these cells in Breast Cancer reduction and in sustaining tumor-susceptibility to the standard chemotherapeutic drugs, using 3D cultures based on patients’ derived-3D cultures. Finally, the team will optimize an ex vivo expansion method for the HLA-DR+CTLs cells, aiming at their prospect use in protocols of adoptive cell therapy, in combination with chemo and immune therapies.
This work is developed between 3 institutions NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Instituto CUF de Oncologia and 3Hospital Vila Franca de Xira.