Proje Geliştirme ve
Koordinasyon Birimi

2015-12-11 Ukraine: Development of Thymus-Recovering Therapy for Immune System Rehabilitation in Thymectomized Patients


Development of Thymus-Recovering Therapy for Immune System Rehabilitation in Thymectomized Patients

Description of the project offered: 
The thymus is a lympho-epithelial organ and the major site for generation of a functional self-tolerant T cell repertoire. It is thus of central importance for adaptive immune system function. The special functions of the organ are mediated primarily by the diverse array of epithelial cell types within the stroma. The thymus is also one of the first organs to degenerate in normal healthy individuals, a process termed ‘age-related thymic involution’. The function of the thymus is also suppressed under stress and a variety of cytotoxic effects, including medical treatment-related. Furthermore, partial or total thymectomy is a component of some surgical procedures, particularly neonatal surgery for congenital heart disease. Also, some forms of severe combined immunodeficiency such as DiGeorge syndrome, Nezelof syndrome, Louis-Bar syndrome, and Swiss syndrome are due to congenital thymic aplasia. Thus, lack of thymic function presents a serious problem for many patients. In our focus mainly newborn and children with congenital heart diseases whom the thymus was removed as a part of standard surgical procedure. For these patients, autologous transplantation of thymic fragments as well as thymic epithelial stem cells (TESC) can lead to successful reconstitution of immune system functions as it was showed on animal models and in some clinical investigations. In our current ThymiStem project, which runs under FP7 Health-2013 programm, we are developing TESC-based platform for clinical intervention into thymus-deficient patients. The new proposal aim is further development and approbation of developed robust and validated protocols related to the cryopreservation of human thymic tissue and in vitro cultured human TESC as well as establishing of optimized means and protocols for autologous transplantation of these cells and/or thymic fragments, or thymic epithelial stem cell-based organoids to immunocompromised recipients such that thymus function is restored and immune status could be evaluated. Overall, this work will build the clinical foundations of a novel stem-cell based therapy for regenerative recovery of thymic and thus immune system functions in the patients. The project should brings together a strong team comprising stem cell biologists, immunologists, molecular biologist and cardiosurgeons, which are experts in immune reconstitution, tissue engineers, genomics, cryopreservation and cell banking as well as in clinical investigations.
Project proposer:   Valentin Shichkin (Ukraine)
Partner role:  Project participant 
Partner organisation:  Education
Call for proposal title:  Personalised Medicine 
Call for proposal identifier:  H2020-SC1-2016-2017


Description of the collaboration sought: 
I am looking for potential partners in this project who have: 
1. Access to the thymus of patients aged from 0 to 3 years (removed at the cardiovascular surgery);
2. Facilities to save thymic samples in liquid nitrogen for long term;
3. Facilities for the preparation and cultivation of human thymic samples in vitro;
4. Medical assistance for autologous re-transplantation of thymic samples to the patients and screening facilities for controlling of thymi development in vivo;
5. The ability to assess the immune status of the patients in dynamics after re-transplantation of thymic samples. 
Expertise sought: Business aspects, Scientific research, Coordination. Cooperation, Social aspects, Measurement methods, Medical biotechnology, Biotechnology, Medicine. Health, Other technology, Nanotechnology and Nanosciences, 
Roles sought: Project coordinator, Project participant, 
Organisation types sought: Research, Small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), Education, 
Countries sought: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Russian Federation, United States, 

Call for proposal specific information

The referenced call for proposals has no specific fields defined.