T-lymphocytes attacking cancer cell
Natural killer cells are a type of lymphocytes which destroy cancer cells and other altered cells releasing cytotoxic granules.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced the formation of the Immuno-Oncology Consortium, an organization with the goal of driving adoption of next-generation sequencing (NGS) clinical research panels designed for identification of predicitive biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy.

The consortium will led by Dr. Sabine Merkelbach-Bruse from the Institute of Pathology, University of Cologne, and seeks to gather of clinical researchers from renowned institutions throughout Europe. The first activities for the group will be to validate Thermo Fisher's Oncomine Immune Response Research Assay. It will eventually extend to the company’s newly launched the AmpliSeq Immune Repertoire Assay Plus, TCR beta and an application to interrogate tumor mutational burden, currently under development by Thermo Fisher.

“Next-generation sequencing holds great promise in developing new biomarkers for immuno-oncology research,” said Dr. Merkelbach-Bruse. “As our lab has extensive expertise in working in multi-center studies, we believe that the consortia model is the best approach to perform analytical validation of new assays, and to explore how these assays may assist in the future to help with patient stratification for immuno-therapies.”

According to Thermo Fisher, collaborations such as those it will foster via the Immuno-Oncology Consortium provide important feedback for its product development pipeline.

“Thermo Fisher's growing portfolio of targeted NGS assays designed to simultaneously interrogate many informative biomarkers empower researchers with a robust and multi-disciplinary approach to drive discoveries across many cancer types,” said Andy Felton, Ph.D., vice president of product management, clinical next-generation sequencing and oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Our strategic collaborations across the globe help accelerate development of these technologies, so we are looking forward to kicking-off our Immuno-Oncology Consortium at the European Congress of Pathology meeting.”

Thermo Fisher will feature its new NGS assays for immuno-oncology and liquid biopsy research at the upcoming European Congress of Pathology (ECP), and at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress.

Also of Interest