In accordance with other research groups, own research suggests that distinct tumor-infiltrating immune cells, namely tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes, promote human cancer including melanoma. Anti-inflammatory therapy has shown clinical activity in prevention and therapy of distinct human cancers and we hypothesize that targeting these specific immune cells may be of therapeutic benefit for cancer patients.
In a clinical trial in metastatic melanoma patients we will assess the clinical efficacy of this highly specific immunotherapy. In parallel, we have set up a network of internationally-renowned scientists to characterize these immune cells and to dissect their tumor-promoting activity by advanced cell culture, proteomic and genomic techniques in the laboratory.
We expect to dissect a novel tumor-promoting mechanism in human melanoma serving as a paradigm for the development of innovative pathology-adjusted cancer therapy.