Centre for Cancer Biomarkers


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McCormack in management group of new COST action

Emmet McCormack will be part of the new COST Action IMMUNO-model, where a network of scientists involved in the development and implementation of preclinical models evaluating the response and toxicity induced by immunotherapies, is challenged to expand our knowledge in their mechanisms of action and improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients.

Discover how preclinical models will boost immunotherapy for cancer

IMMUNOmodel COST Action


The COST Action IMMUNO-model CA21135 aims to foster research and innovation in the field of preclinical immuno-oncology models with the ultimate goal of advancing in the treatment of cancer patients by improving their outcomes and quality of life. The unprecedented change that immunotherapy has represented in the treatment of cancer is best illustrated by the spectacular results obtained in previously incurable malignancies, such as metastatic melanoma. However, the widespread use of these therapies has been hindered by their limited effectiveness and associated toxicities. A better understanding on the complex interactions between tumor cells and the immune system is strictly required to address these problems, and to develop more effective and safer immunotherapies.

Drawing from CCBIO work

However, one of the most important obstacles in immuno-oncology research is the scarcity of preclinical models that faithfully recapitulate human immunity and contribute to identify novel therapeutic targets, characterize biomarkers of therapeutic response and toxicity, and generate reliable data on drug synergies.

"Drawing on the experiences and insights gained through the application of our CCBIO projects [Kleinmanns et al. Cancers 2022, Kleinmanns, Fosse et al. EBiomedicine 2020], we have joined together with European researchers from diverse sectors such as academia, clinical and industry with the common goal of establishing a network that endorses immuno-oncology research by specifically promoting the sharing, standardization and application of immunotherapy preclinical models," Professor McCormack explains.

"This Action will allow the implementation of a broad, creative and collaborative hub through the organization of community-building activities, the creation of synergies among European and non-European scientists, and the training of future researchers in the field. The ultimate aim of this Action is to contribute to translate novel scientific discoveries into benefits to cancer patients and the society," he continues.

McCormack ends with an open invitation. "For anyone working within immunotherapies, I would highly encourage that you join this network," he says.

Design of new in vivo models in immunotherapy

McCormack will lead the WG2 (working group 2): In vivo cancer immunotherapy models.

Experimental animals are the most widely used preclinical models to assess immunotherapy response. However, some critical issues on their generation and use remain to be addressed. The main goal of WG2 will be to foster the collaboration and knowledge exchange between researchers in the field to promote the design of new in vivo models in immunotherapy and establish standard protocols and approaches for their use. Thus, the research objectives of WG2 will focus on: 

  • defining a catalogue of immunotherapy in vivo models and relevant reagents for their application
  • characterizing the most appropriate genetically-engineered mouse models (GEMM) recapitulating human tumorigenesis and/or immunity
  • consolidating available molecular and biological data on syngenic mouse models in response to immunotherapy
  • sharing protocols and strategies to improve humanized mouse models in immuno-oncology
  • achieving a critical mass of experts in focused on the study of immunotherapy-induced toxicity

Find more information about the COST Action IMMUNO-model here.

Grants and events though the IMMUNO-model COST Action

Grants and events are available to all who sign up for the COST Action. This is simply a case of joining online and selecting the 2 WGs that is most appropriate for each individual, as Norway is a COST Full Member Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC).  Once you have signed up, you are eligible to apply for grants.

Currents relevant grants are these mobility grants:

a. Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) Grant:  For researchers who wish to carry out short-term research in another institution abroad, use the 1st Call for STSM Applications – Grant Period 2, 01 November 2023 – 29 February 2024 – IMMUNO-model.

b. Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC) Conference Grant:  If you are Young Researcher and Innovator and would like to present your own work at a high-level conference (organised by third parties), please use the 1st Call for ITC Applications – Grant Period 2, 01 November 2023 – 31 October 2024 – IMMUNO-model

Current events:

December 14, the 1st IMMUNO-model webinar entitled Emerging Innovations for Immuno-models, streamed live on the ZOOM platform on December 14, 2023 at 2.00 -3.30 pm CET.

Keep an eye on this page for coming calls and events: https://www.immuno-model.eu/