Immunomodulation and Tumor Microenvironment

"The tumor microenvironment blocks the action of the immune system. We have developed strategies to arm lymphocytes with mechanisms to overcome these effects and exert enhanced antitumor activity."

DR. JUAN JOSÉ LASARTE
RESEARCHER. IMMUNOMODULATION AND TUMOR MICROENVIRONMENT RESEARCH GROUP

The Immunomodulation and Tumor Microenvironment Group at Cima seeks to develop antitumor therapies through the identification of small molecules capable of blocking the activity of immunosuppressive cells, especially CD4+CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (nTreg). These cells play an essential role in the control of the immune system and autoimmune diseases. However, their activity is a brake on the activation of antitumor immune responses. 

On the other hand, immunotherapy based on adoptive transfer of T lymphocytes has shown very promising results in some types of tumors, achieving long-lasting antitumor responses. These strategies, however, are not effective in other types of tumors, where the tumor microenvironment is highly immunosuppressive.

Our group is working on the search for strategies to increase the efficacy of adoptive transfer by gene modification of T lymphocytes, using chimeric immunostimulatory receptors (CARs) and elements to combat this immunosuppressive tumor environment.

Our group coordinates the SOCRATHeS Project (Strategic Development of CAR-T therapies for the treatment of Hematological and Solid Tumors), funded by the Government of Navarra, with the participation of CIMA, two hospitals (the Clínica Universidad de Navarra and the Complejo Hospital

Dr. Juan José Lasarte

GROUP LEADER

   +34 948 194 700 | Ext. 81 3006 
   jjlasarte@unav.es
   Research profile

Objectives of the Research Group in
Immunomodulation and Tumor Microenvironment

Improving the antitumor efficacy of immunotherapy based on adoptive transfer of T lymphocytes in different tumor types


Study of tumor-induced immunosuppressive mechanisms.


Identification and in vivo validation of small molecules that block Treg cell activity for the development of antitumor therapies.


Design of alternatives
to increase the efficacy of CAR-T cell
CAR-T cell therapy.

FROM THE LABORATORY TO THE CLINIC

Immunotherapeutic molecules

Our group has identified inhibitory peptides of the transcription factor Foxp3 that block the action of regulatory T cells and even potentiate the function of effector CD4 T lymphocytes.

Their in vivo utility in different immunotherapy models is currently being analyzed.