Benoît Van den Eynde

Identification and characterization of new cancer immunotherapy targets discovered by in vivo genomic pool screening

cancer immunotherapy • tumour microenvironment

Benoît Van den Eynde is professor at the Université catholique de Louvain. His research at the de Duve Institute focuses on tumour immunology, in particular, on the mechanisms for the production of tumour antigens and on the mechanisms whereby tumours escape immune attacks.

This WELBIO project focuses on the immunosuppressive mechanisms whereby the tumour microenvironment limits the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Benoît Van den Eynde and his team have designed a model (known as the TiRP model) of genetically engineered melanomas, which are particularly immunesuppressive. This model is used to screen for the genes responsible for this immunosuppression and, from there, investigating the immunosuppressive mechanisms. The first candidate genes were identified during Benoît Van den Eynde’s previous WELBIO project.

This new project will make it possible to characterise the mechanisms responsible for the immunomodifying effect of these genes, as well as to search for other candidates that could be used as a target for immunotherapy. During the previous project, an existing drug appeared to improve immunotherapy in different tumour models. Another part of this new project will be dedicated to the mechanism by which this drug acts. This project is expected to open new avenues for the development
of anti-cancer medications.

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