Tumor Immunology Group

The Tumor Immunology Group (TIGr) is headed by Eva Lion.

In TIGr we do fundamental and translational research for the optimization of dendritic cell vaccines and adoptive T cell transfer for the treatment of cancer. Together with the VAXINFECTIO-members we work on vaccination studies and we support CCRG in cancer-research (i.a. writing projects, budget management, regulatory affairs, patient recruitment and vaccinations, immunomonitoring, writing papers).

In 2015-2016 we continued our tumor immunology program on the role and effects of DC generated in the presence of exogenously added IL-15 and into their subsequent crosstalk with T cells and  natural killer cells (Anguille et al, PlosOne 2015).
We also investigated how mRNA electroporation can be exploited to generate ‘designer’ DCs with increased immunostimulatory effects. In this respect, we showed that IFN-α mRNA electroporation of DCs significantly increased the stimulation of tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell as well as anti-tumor NK cell effector functions in vitro through high levels of IFN-α secretion (Willemen et al, Cancer Immunol Immunother 2015).

Transfection of IL-15 and/or IL-15 receptor alpha mRNA into Mo-DC to enable IL-15 transpresentation also seems an interesting approach to boost antitumoral natural killer cell activity (Van den Bergh et al, Oncotarget 2015).
Also, we developed protocols to efficiently isolate, characterize and expand gd-T cells that can interact with other immune cells for increased anti-tumor immunity for adoptive immunotherapy purposes (Van Acker et al, OncoImmunology 2015 & J Hematol Oncol. 2016).

Foto TIGr

Prof. Dr. Zwi Berneman
Dr. Eva Lion

Prof. Dr. Evelien Smits

Dr. Eva Lion
Dr. Sébastien Anguille

Diana Campillo-Davo
Maarten Versteven
Gils Roex
Donovan Flumens

Hans De Reu
Laura Van Bruggen
Stefanie Peeters