(Vienna, 29.04.2021) On today’s International Day of Immunology, we would like to draw your attention to the tight interaction between the immune system and cancer development. Despite the introduction of new cancer immunotherapies, this interplay is still not common knowledge.
Immunology research has been an integral part of St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute (St. Anna CCRI) for decades. Several of our research groups address the essential questions of how our body's immune system works, the role it plays in cancer growth, and how it can be harnessed for therapeutic intervention.
Eva König and her group (photo) for instance, have set their goal of exploiting certain immune cells, called natural killer cells, in tumor therapy. "If we understand how individual leukemic cells become resistant to the body's own immune defense, we can develop ways to fine-tune the killing capacity of natural killer cells to stop resistant tumors from taking over the body", says Eva König. This could mean a lasting cure for leukemia.
St. Anna CCRI has three research groups exclusively devoted to Immunology:
- Immune deficiency, cancer predisposition & precision oncology: Kaan Boztug Group
- Interaction between the immune system and the tumor (tumor immunoediting): Eva König Group
- Development of novel tools for immunotherapy: Christian Doppler Laboratory for Next Generation CAR T Cells