Magnus von Knebel-Doeberitz

Photo of Magnus von Knebel DoeberitzMagnus von Knebel Doeberitz is Medical Director of the Department of Applied Tumor Biology at the Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Heidelberg and leads the Clinical Cooperation Unit G105 at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg.

One of his major scientific interests relates to the immune biology of cancers triggered by MMR deficiency and the development of immune therapeutics and vaccines.

Towards a vaccine against MSI cancer

Deficient DNA mismatch repair (MMR) triggers the accumulation of frameshift mutations in genes encompassing coding microsatellites (cMS).This results in the translation of proteins with mutation-induced frameshift peptides (neo-anti-gens) rendering microsatellite-unstable (MSI) cancers highly immunogenic. MSI cancers express a defined set of neo-antigens resulting from functionally relevant driver mutations, which are shared by most MSI-cancers. Patients with MSI-cancers and healthy individuals affected by Lynch syndrome, an inherited predisposition for MSI-cancers, develop specific immune responses against these neo-antigens. These antigens were selected to develop a peptide based vaccine that was tested in first clinical phase I/IIa trial and triggered substantial immune responses in patients suffering from MSI cancers.