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SLAMF6 and 2B4: Roles and modes of action in normal immunity and cancer immunotherapy

A functioning immune system is critical for successful treatment of cancer. Recent studies have shown an improvement of the immune response against cancer triggered by new drugs that block the function of certain types of receptors at the surface of immune cells. This project seeks to understand the role of two new potential molecular targets for immunotherapy against cancer in humans: the SLAMF6 receptor and the 2B4 receptor.

These receptors are at the surface of key immune cells (CD8+T and NK lymphocytes), and they play an important regulatory role during the anti-tumor response mediated by these cells. The research team hypothesizes that pharmacological targeting of SLAMF6 and 2B4 could be helpful in the treatment of cancer. Findings from this research project will further basic knowledge of the role of SLAMF6 and 2B4 in immune cells, and determine whether these two receptors are valid clinical targets for pharmacologic treatment of human cancers.

The project is led in Canada by the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (affiliated with the University of Montreal), in collaboration with the Hadassah Hebrew University (Israel), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (Mexico), and the Hebrew University (Israel).

This project was selected and approved for funding through the second research competition of the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program, which is a partnership between Canada’s International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Israel Science Foundation and the Azrieli Foundation. This 7-year, $35M Canadian-Israeli effort draws on the unique scientific strengths of both countries and facilitates networking opportunities with peers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Projects include a plan for integrating researchers from low- and middle-income countries that will establish long-term scientific relationships.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Fabiano Santos
Total Funding
CA$ 636,558.00
Foundations for Innovation
Canada-Israel Health Research Program
Institution Country
Project Leader
André Veillette
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal