Study by UNN and Ghent University scientists recognised as best in cancer immunotherapy
A joint study by scientists from the University of Ghent (Belgium) and Lobachevsky University has been named the best in the field of anticancer immunotherapy by the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer - A BMJ Oncology Journal. The article was published in the journal in November 2020. According to Dr. Maria Vedunova, Director of the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine, the study topped the list of best publications on cancer immunotherapy in this respected journal.
"Its recognition is certainly important for us. This article on ferroptosis really attracted a lot of attention. It has been commented on by Nobel Prize nominees. Research on immunogenic cell death in oncology is our growth point. I hope this is not our last paper in this area, we are not going to stop."
Victoria Turubanova, a PhD student at the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine who co-authored the study, continues: "This is a big win for us. The article is widely cited and popular. The impact factor of the journal is quite high for biomedicine — 13.25, and the experts of this prestigious publication marked the article as the best one in its field. This means that we are doing everything right, we need to keep striving forward, to develop further".
The work was carried out in Belgium and Nizhny Novgorod. Researchers from the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine, together with Belgian colleagues, studied ferroptosis, a type of cell death that occurs with the participation of iron ions. As cells die, they accumulate a large amount of oxygen, the cell membrane is oxidised and, as a consequence, the cellular immune response is activated.
The study was conducted first on cell cultures and then on mice. Animals with tumours were inoculated with an experimental vaccine containing dying cells. As a result, the development of cancer was stopped, which means this research has prospects in clinical practice. Right now, scientists are continuing to investigate not only ferroptosis, but also other cell death mechanisms that can trigger immunity.
Research on ferroptosis is one of many team projects between Lobachevsky University and the University of Ghent. UNN scientists made a major contribution not only to the research proper, but also to the ideology of the project. This result was made possible by a special research partnership that started in 2018, which included internships and joint grant research. For Nizhny Novgorod scientists, this interaction has opened up opportunities for a whole range of work, and most importantly, it has formed an environment for the development of new scientific ideas.