The DISA project aims to generate drug candidates for the treatment of solid tumors. The degree of innovation in the DISA-project is high and the project can become an important component in future treatments, in combination with immunotherapies or radiation therapies.
Normal cells have several control systems that can detect whether they are damaged. These systems can either trigger damaged cells to commit “suicide” (apoptosis) or activate the immune system to remove the cells. A crucial feature of cancer cells is the shutting down of these control systems, which results in the tumor being able to continue to grow uninhibited. In the DISA project, Sprint Bioscience has identified a specific target protein that has been shown to play an important role in the cancer cells’ ability to avoid attack from the immune system. Elevated levels of this protein occur in a number of cancers and are correlated with poorer activation of the immune response. Inhibiting the target protein allows the cells to regain their ability to send signals to the immune system. This results in a stronger immune response against the cancer cells and we thus expect a better effect of, for example, radiation therapy.