The ATTACK Project
Adoptive engineered T cell Targeting to Activate Cancer Killing (ATTACK) is a European Union Framework Programme Six (FP6) Integrated Project.
The five year ATTACK Project involves a consortium of 17 partners over Europe, 2 partners in Israel and is coodinated by Robert Hawkins at The University of Manchester.
The pre-clinical programme focuses upon the development of immune cell therapies to target cancer. Specifically the use of gene therapy approaches to modify T cells - a particular subtype of immune cell. T-cells are part of the immune defense machinery which naturally protects against infections and some cancers. T cells can be used to treat some malignant disease but many cancers avoid destruction by the immune system. Using state of the art technologies to target the T-cells by introducing artificial receptors, it is hoped to provide these cells with tumour specificity. This consortium will collaborate on this process of "engineering T-cells."
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The programme will enhance understanding of how cancer cells evade the immune system in order to improve T cell mediated immunotherapy to fight a broad range of cancer.
Specific Scientific Areas for Development include
- Expertise in the design of tumour targeting receptors based on the natural T cell receptor
- Expertise in the design of tumour targeting receptors based on antibodies
- Expertise in tumour models
- Expertise in the survival and homing to the tumour of the engineered T cells
- Expertise in the effects of T cell selection, transduction and expansion methodology
- Safety of the improved T cells.
The consortium background
The approach adopted by the consortium stems from original research by Professor Zelig Eshhar in Israel.
The partners in the project include experts who have developed key aspects of engineered T-cells, immunology and tumour biology from key research institutions across Europe.
The partners have a long record of EU based collaboration. Co-ordination of the project will be aided by an International Advisory Board of external experts.
100% European Commission
Contract Number: LSHC-CT-2005-018914