Silver Medal


Cancer thrives by preventing the immune system from targeting tumor cells. While current immunotherapies use dendritic cells to activate T-cells towards specific tumor antigens, they remain expensive and of variable efficiency against tumor immunosuppressive environment.

To address these issues, our team mainly focused on engineering a S. cerevisiae yeast immunotherapy that was ultimately tested in vivo on mice presenting melanoma. Three complementary strategies were combined:

First, in order to modulate the tumor environment, yeast secreting immune modulators, GM-CSF and IFNgamma, were encapsulated into alginate beads and injected in tumors.

Secondly, to break the immune tolerance against cancer cells, T4 and T8 lymphocytes were elicited by a yeast antigen display system.

Last, to deliver cytotoxic compounds solely in the tumor environment, a yeast hypoxia bio-sensor was designed.

A side project consisted in engineering E. coli to drive MAIT lymphocytes against cancer cells instead of their original targets, parasitized cells.

For further information about the 2015 iGEM competition, visit the iGEM 2015 website.

iGEM From Above 2015
268 teams worldwide participated at the 2015 iGEM competition