Congratulations to the seven laureate research teams of the 2024 TANDEM collaborative funding program

Date de publication


This year, seven research groups from Lausanne, Geneva, Bern and Basel have been awarded TANDEM funding.

Each team, consisting of a clinician and a basic research scientist, will address a question of direct clinical relevance from two angles: that of understanding the molecular mechanisms involved and that of directly improving cancer patient care.

Prof. Andreas Holbro & Prof. Lukas Jeker (USB & UNIBAS) 
Toward a CD33-directed Shielded Cell/Immunotherapy Pair First-in-Human clinical trial for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

This project pursues preliminary research for a first-in-human clinical trial for the use of CD33-directed CAR-T in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The goal is to render this CAR-T therapy safer and more effective by eliminating the off-tumor impact of the therapy by protecting hematopoietic stem cells through the expression of an epitope-edited cell surface marker, CD33.

Dr. Thibaud Koessler & Prof. Tatiana Petrova (HUG & UNIL) 
Harnessing normal organ chemo-injury response to prevent colorectal cancer metastasis

The theme here is metabolites and cancer. The applicants present preliminary evidence that chemotherapy can induce a “memory” effect in colorectal cancer (CRC). They will examine how the release of a host microbiome-derived metabolites reprograms immune cells in the metastasis niche to inhibit metastatic growth of a cancer.

Prof. Mohamed Bentires Alj & Prof. Walter Weber (USB & UNIBAS)
Immune mapping of tumor draining lymph nodes to predict therapy response and optimize immunotherapy-based combinations in hormone receptor positive breast cancer

This project will characterize immunological parameters in tumor-draining lymph nodes, to see if they can be used as predictive biomarkers for immune-therapy response in HR+/Her2- breast cancer patients.

Dr. Antonia Digklia & Dr. Melita Irving (CHUV & UNIL)
Combination TKI and next-generation CAR T cells for personalized sarcoma therapy

This project will address the limitations of current sarcoma treatments with a multidisciplinary approach (clinical, biological, protein engineering) that aims to develop and optimize CAR T cells for sarcoma in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitors or other drugs.

Prof. Ren-Wang Peng, Prof. Adrian Ochsenbein & Dr. Sabine Schmid (UNIBE & INSEL)
Rational development of predictive biomarkers and combination regimens for precision immunotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma

This project will discover targets and mechanisms of resistance to immune checkpoint blockade therapies in patients with mesothelioma, a dreadful cancer of unmet therapeutic need.

Dr. Laurent Derré & Dr. Ilaria Lucca (UNIL & CHUV) 
Unravelling the transcriptomic landscape of Vδ2 T cells in bladder cancer patients

This team will do a single cell transcriptomics study of the roles of Vδ2 T cells both in bladder cancer cells and in the peripheral blood, to find useful molecular signatures that can be correlated with therapy outcome.

Prof. Michal Bassani-Sternberg & Prof. Jean Perentes (UNIL & CHUV)
Evaluation of the neoantigen specific T cell response in pleural carcinosis managed by Pressurized IntraThoracic Hyperthermic Aerosol cisplatin Chemotherapy (PITHAC)

This project aims to analyze neoantigens and the antigenic landscape in general of patients diagnosed with pleural carcinosis (lung cavity) tumors undergoing treatment with PITHAC (or pressurized intrathoracic chemotherapy distribution with moderate hyperthermia). The outcome of this study may facilitate the integration of PITHAC with immune checkpoint blockade treatments.