One of our MELGEN researchers has received a prestigious award for her research!
In May, Sabrina Schindler, a MELGEN researcher studying in Zurich, Switzerland, attended the 13th Congress of the European Association of Dermato Oncology held in Athens, Greece. Whilst there Sabrina presented a poster showing her research work entitled: ‘The peripheral blood TCR repertoire might facilitate patient stratification for immune checkpoint blockade inhibition in metastatic melanoma.’
The organising committee decided to award Sabrina a presitgious prize for her poster in recognition of her scientific excellence. The presentation was made by Dr Alexander Stratigos, the Congress Chairman and Professor of Dematology at the University of Athens.
A summary of Sabrina’s research
Immunotherapies such as anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 have shown durable responses in metastatic melanoma. However, more than 50% of the patients do not benefit from the treatment. It is therefore crucial to identify biological markers (called biomarkers) in the patients to help us identify future patients who will benefit from particular treatments. In Sabrina’s poster, she showed that patients with a low number of different types of T-cells (a type of immune cell which has different versions to fight different infections/diseases; called a T-cell repertoire or TCR) in their blood at start of treatment were more likey to respond to anti-PD1 therapy, and had a poor response to anti-CTLA4 therapy. This research is important because measuring the TCR of patients may be a powerful predictive biomarker that might help doctors in making treatment choices for their patients.
Congratulations, Sabrina, on a fantastic achievement!