CAR-T for melanoma

CAR-T cell therapy for malignant melanoma of the skin and the eye.

Lead: Gothenburg University

Involved patners: Sahlgrenska University Hospital, AstraZeneca

The project aims to develop a CAR-T therapy for metastatic melanoma

Examples of tasks and actions:

We will generate the preclinical package needed to initiate a clinical trial. We will also do research to identify negative regulators of CAR-T function that can be targeted.

Interview with project leader

Hi Jonas Nilsson!

What is the need your project addresses?

Immunotherapies have revolutionized treatment of metastatic melanoma but half of patients do not get benefit of the treatments with so called immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). In particular, uveal melanoma, where the melanoma comes from the eye instead of from the skin, is especially resistant to ICI. We will investigate if cell therapy could have efficacy in melanoma patients resistant to ICI.

What is your approach to meet the need?

We have identified a CAR target on the cell surface of melanoma cells for which there is already so called CAR-T cells developed. We will adopt the patient’s own T-cells to become CAR-T cells. These will then be used in animal models and in patients.

How will this improve Sweden´s capabilities within ATMPs?

So far only CAR-T cells against blood cancer (leukemia and lymphoma) has been developed in Sweden. We will try to develop a CAR-T cell strategy for melanoma which could also attract interest for other diagnoses. If we are successful we will be able to offer patients with treatment-resistant cancers an alternative treatment option. Such a treatment may also be interesting to combine with other drugs and is therefore of interest to external collaborators.

For more information please contact  Jonas Nilsson