MOM´s teachers are not only known because they are top-notch researchers and MDs, but also because of their perseverance. As an example, we are going to talk about the recent publication of Dr. Ignacio Melero, co-director of the Immunology and Immunotherapy Department at the Clinica Universidad de Navarra, which is recognized as one of the 50 best hospitals in the world.

The fact that CD137 is part of an extremely promising co-stimulatory immune checkpoint in cancer is not new, and consequently, this member of the TNF receptor family commonly induced by lymphocytes has been targeted for years.

Unfortunately, all clinical trials using CD137 as a target had to be suspended because of the toxicity observed in the liver despite significant tumor regressions.

Luckily, Dr. Melero and his team have continued with this line of research until they have come up with a very elegant approach that eliminates CD137-liver-associated-toxicity in preclinical trials, and which we are sure that is going to see the clinic very soon. In collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and CytomX, the group of Dr. Melero has developed and new compound, an anti-CD137 probody therapeutic antibody that is only activated in tumors upon degradation of the protein that keeps this antibody in an inactivated state by tumor-specific enzymes thus, keeping healthy cells intact.

This work is definitely a proof of the hard work and resilience that characterize our professors.