Chiara Massa

Immunomonitoring of tumor patients during immunotherapy


Implementation of immunotherapy to tumor patients has provided promising results during the last two decades, but its efficacy is still limited. Therefore, to provide the best possible treatment to each patient there is an urgent need to identify predictive markers for response to the different available immune-based treatments. Currently, blood samples from melanoma patients collected before and after therapy with checkpoint inhibitors are evaluated by CyTOF for changes in the frequency and activation status of the major immune cell populations as well as for the expression of different immune checkpoint molecules.


Chiara Massa is a postdoctoral fellow and head of the immunomonitoring unit at the Institute of Medical Immunology of the Martin Luther University in Halle. Next to projects dealing with the in vitro optimization of vaccines based on dendritic cells and the role of immune cell metabolism on anti-tumoral responses, she is supervising the immunomonitoring of different clinical trials in which the Institute is involved. On the one hand, blood samples are evaluated by multicolor flow cytometry and / or CyTOF, while tumor biopsies have been mostly evaluated by multispectral imaging. In the future, tumor material will be analyzed by imaging mass cytometry and will also be implemented for organoid formation in order to allow in vitro functional evaluations of treatment responsiveness.


Institute of Medical Immunology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany