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April 27, 2021 | OncoBone article

Upcoming webinar: Human Immune System Models in Metastasis Research

OncoBone and Taconic Biosciences will co-present in a webinar titled: ‘Utility of Human Immune System Mice in Metastasis Cancer Drug Development’ on May 4, 2021. Below is a short overview of what to expect from the webinar.

Immune cells and metastasis

The effects of immune cells, and especially T cells, in regulating tumor growth has received major interest after the successful development and approval of the first immune checkpoint inhibitors for treating multiple cancers. What is not commonly acknowledged is that immune cells also affect other aspects of tumor progression such as metastatic process. Tumor-promoted inflammation makes the tumor microenvironment immunosuppressive, and immune cells regulate metastatic spread by regulating invasion, intravasation, survival of circulating tumor cells, and extravasation to the metastatic microenvironment. During the webinar, OncoBone’s Chief Scientific Officer Tiina Kähkönen will talk about these issues in more detail.

Human Immune System (HIS) mouse models

HIS mouse models are increasingly used in immuno-oncology research and drug development. During the last years, many new HIS models have emerged, all with unique aspects and suitability profiles to answer different research question. Many of these questions are related to what immune cells are present in the model. This is largely affected by the choice of mouse strain and the type of human immune cells that are engrafted in the mice. These and other issues related to HIS model selection will be covered by Taconic’s Field Application Scientist Ivan Gladwyn-Ng.

Value of HIS models in metastasis research and drug development

During the webinar, the utility of HIS models in metastasis research will be discussed, as well as how these models are currently utilized in evaluating approved and emerging immuno-oncology therapies against metastases from the aspects of efficacy and safety. From efficacy aspect, it is discussed how metastases growing at different locations, immune cell landscape, and different compounds targeting the same pathway, can affect the efficacy observed in the models. From safety aspect, increased translational power is discussed, and more precisely how well safety concerns in HIS models are translated to common clinically observed immune-related adverse effects.

Aim of the webinar

In this webinar, we hope to highlight the need of metastasis-specific evaluation of efficacy of novel immunotherapies. Immune responses to metastasis may vary depending on tumor type, stage and local metastatic microenvironment, which makes it more challenging to interpret not only preclinical but also clinical findings. There is a growing demand for further basic and translational research in this field, and development of models with multiple humanized components will be highly valuable. Novel humanized metastasis models will hopefully provide new opportunities for preclinical drug development and assessment of efficacy and safety of immunotherapies, and to promote drug development towards targeting metastases.

More information

The webinar is free to attend, and more information and the registration form can be found from the following link. A webinar recording will be made available for all who have registers to the webinar.


The webinar is based on the review article: Kähkönen TE, Halleen JM, Bernoulli J. Immunotherapies and metastatic cancers: understanding utility and predictivity of human immune cell engrafted mice in preclinical drug development. 2020. Cancers.


More information about HIS models can be found from the following link.




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