Team:EPFL

iGEM EPFL 2018

CAPOEIRA

CAncer PersOnalized Encapsulin Immunotherapy and Relapse Assay

Learn more about our project

What is CAPOEIRA ?

While Melanoma remains the deadliest form of skin cancer, immunotherapy approaches can harness our immune system to defeat it! Yet, current immuno-treatments suffer from high costs, limited accessibility, and poor specificity. Our project “CAPOEIRA”, named after the Brazilian self-defense martial-art, exploits the potential of synthetic biology to develop a personalized, cost-effective, and rapid production scheme for cancer vaccine and point-of-care relapse surveillance. First, a bioinformatic pipeline integrating state-of-the-art tools identifies our targets: melanoma neoantigens, the fingerprints of cancer cells. Next, cell-free protein expression rapidly synthesizes a library of encapsulin protein nanocompartments presenting the various neoantigen epitopes. This encapsulin vaccine activates dendritic cells which trigger a T-cell attack on the neoantigen-bearing cancer cells. Nevertheless, we don’t underestimate a defeated villain! To detect potential relapse, we combine techniques including dumbbell probes, rolling circle amplification, isothermal amplification, and CRISPR-Cas12a to detect circulating tumor miRNA and DNA. Ultimately, CAPOEIRA trains the immune system to fight back!


This is CAPOEIRA

Bioinformatics

First, a bioinformatic pipeline integrating state-of-the-art tools identifies our target: melonoma neoantigens, the fingerprints of cancer cells


Vaccine

Next, cell-free protein expression rapidly synthesizes a library of encapsulin protein nanocompartments presenting the various neoantigen epitopes

Dendritic cell Activation

This encapsulin vaccine activates dendritic cells which trigger a T-cell attack on the neoantigen bearing cancer cells

Follow-up

Nevertheless, we don't underestimate a defeated villain! To detect potential relapse we use techniques like CRISPR-Cas12a to detect circulationg tumor miRNA and DNA