The establishment of a clinical immune-monitoring platform at the CHUV has as its principal goals to identify the immunological profile associated with different infectious agents, cancers, auto-immune related and hematologic diseases. Profiling will consist of phenotypic, functional and genetic characterization of immune cells and tissues. This characterization will allow for associations to be made between the immunological profile of a patient and the emergence of their disease. Immune and/or cancerous cell profiling can also permit the predicted evolution of a disease and can be compared in clinical cases of immunological control versus disease recurrence. The immune-monitoring platform will perform valuable studies that can identify the specific cells targeted and mechanism of action associated with a specific therapy. With the orthogonal screening approaches in place and under development, a prime objective is also to identify immune related biological markers that are associated with a response to therapy. These goals will contribute to research discoveries, improved therapy and the innovative advancement of patient care.
The clinical immune-monitoring platform will be established for the characterization of cells and tissues from patients with: infectious diseases, cancers, systemic inflammatory diseases, organ transplantation or an immunocompromised condition. This platform will also be applied to evaluate the immune response to seasonal flu vaccines in at risk populations such as organ transplant patients, immunocompromised individuals and the elderly population. In addition, immune-monitoring in phase I/II clinical trials will be performed for experimental vaccines directed against infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. With these objectives and range of applications, the clinical immune-monitoring platform will extend its services and expertise to the CHUV departments of laboratory, medicine, oncology, neurosciences and surgery. This platform is equally pertinent for the Biobanque Institutionnelle Lausannoise (BIL) project to support the discovery and development of new therapies and to position Lausanne as a focal point of medicinal genomics.
The clinical immune-monitoring platform will achieve its goals through the implementation of established and emerging analysis technologies. These technologies include the use of flow cytometry for phenotypic and functional profiling of live cells, gene expression analysis at the single cell levels using the Fluidigm system and mass cytometry for an in depth characterization of cellular phenotype and function using the CyTOF instrument.