The Linterna project goes forward in cancer immunotherapy techniques and identifies a protein that may be effective in stopping the progression of lung cancer
- Professionals from Navarrabiomed and the University Hospital of Navarra have participated in this multicentre project led by the Cima of the University of Navarra
The Department of Economic and Business Development has subsidized, through the call for Grants for Strategic R&D Projects for the period 2020-2022, the Linterna project, which seeks to advance immunotherapy techniques to fight cancer. Specifically, the project has managed to identify a biomarker that may be effective in stopping the progression of lung cancer. In addition, genomic analysis techniques have been used in subjects with tobacco-induced lung cancer under this project. This has allowed both to advance in the identification and to develop new therapeutic approaches.
The main objective of the Linterna project (Leadership and INnovation in Cancer immunoTHErapy from NAvarra) is to bring together the work of different institutions that are developing immunotherapy strategies to fight cancer. This technique is based on enhancing the body's own defences versus, for example, techniques that are based on supplying chemicals outside the body.
The whole development has been carried out by a consortium led by the Cima - University of Navarra and in which University Hospital of Navarra (Medical Oncology Service), the University of Navarra Clinic, Navarrabiomed (Units of Oncoimmunology and of Translational Medical Oncology), ADItech and the pharmaceutical company Medibiopharma have also participated.
During the development of the project, non-cellular markers have been searched for in plasma samples from patients. For this, high-performance analytical techniques have been used. Thanks to this work, fractalkine has been identified, which is a small protein that helps control the growth and activity of other cells, as a biomarker of response to immunotherapy. This discovery will make it possible to develop new, more effective treatments by combining this protein with current therapies.