Interested in Immunology and Immunotherapy? Join our team and exciting translational research program!
This project focuses on the clinical exploration of Natural killer (NK) cell therapy against Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Complete remission can be achieved in AML patients after treatment with intensive chemotherapy and/or hypomethylating agents with or without consolidation with allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, prognosis remains poor due to high relapse rates. Persistent minimal residual disease prior to transplant has been associated with increased relapse rates and decreased survival post-transplant. Therefore, novel therapies are needed to induce deeper remission before allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Allogeneic NK cell infusion following lymphodepleting chemotherapy is a new therapeutic approach for AML, which is well-tolerated and exerts promising anti-leukemic activity. To exploit allogeneic NK cells in cancer therapy, we have developed a GMP-compliant culture system capable of generating clinically applicable NK cell products with high purity and functionality from umbilical cord blood-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC). Promisingly, our pre-clinical studies demonstrate that AML cells are highly susceptible for killing by HPC-NK cells. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that intravenous infusion of HPC-NK cells is safe and well-tolerated in poor-prognosis AML patients. In this project financed by KWF, we will explore HPC-NK cell transfer as a novel bridge-to-transplant therapy in refractory and relapsed AML patients. The objective is to evaluate safety, toxicity, efficacy and expansion of intravenously infused ex vivo-generated UCB-NK cells in patients with refractory/relapsed AML.
For this project we are looking for an enthusiastic technician, who in close collaboration with other team members will perform NK cell manufacturing in the GMP cleanroom facility, immunomonitoring studies, document and report research results and contribute to scientific publications.Tasks and responsibilities
- Contributes to the development of new knowledge within the context of the department's research program.
- Performs NK cell product manufacturing in the ATMP cleanroom facility.
- Performs environmental monitoring and equipment maintenance in ATMP cleanroom facility.
- Performs stability assays on NK cell therapy manufacturing reagents.
- Performs immunomonitoring studies on samples of patients treated with NK cell therapy.
- Performs independently advanced cellular immunological and flow cytometry assays.
- Presents and discusses data (written reports, team meetings).
- Translates research findings to methods, protocols and SOPs.