The Sheba Medical Center group
The Ella Lemelbaum Institute is conducting multiple clinical trials with T cells obtained from tumors (TILs), as well as genetically modified T cells that express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR T) specific for a tumor antigen.
The Sheba Cancer Research Center is engaged in basic and pre-clinical research in RNA biology. Our work pioneered the field of Epitranscriptomics–the study of mRNA modifications and their roles in regulation of gene expression. We are currently identifying new mRNA modifications as well as developing RNA-based therapies for rare diseases.
Partner's Genome Editing vision
While CAR T treatments are highly effective for hematologic malignancies their efficacy in solid tumor treatment is low, mainly due to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that interferes with T cell activity. Also, the anti-tumor reactivity of TIL seems to be reduced in patients refractory to immune check point inhibitors. Knocking out proteins known to inhibit T cell reactivity and knocking in new CAR constructs using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has the potential to enhance T cells’ ability to eliminate solid cancers.
mRNA modifications regulate gene expression to control various cellular processes by switching from one transcriptional program to another. Gene editing of key proteins involved in reading mRNA modifications may help enhance the immune response of T cells.
Partner's activity within the consortium
The Sheba medical center group is contributing CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing sequencing data for the computational machine and is sharing all the protocols, tools and knowledge with the rest of the consortium members.