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Developing targeted immunotherapy for leukaemia

  • Researcher: Dr Giulia Casorati
  • Institution: Fondazione Centro San Raffaele, Milan, Italy
  • Award Amount: £203,400 for 3 years from 1st January 2019
  • Cancer Type: Blood Cancer, Leukaemia
Developing targeted immunotherapy for leukaemia
There are nearly 440,000 new cases of leukaemia diagnosed worldwide each year and less than half of these people will survive for 10 years or more after their diagnosis. The current therapies for leukaemia are often very successful at treating patients, but many people go on to develop the disease again further down the line.

Dr Giulia Casorati based at Fondazione Centro San Raffaele in Milan, Italy, has recently discovered a new immunotherapy technique that forces cells of the immune system to recognise, attack and destroy leukaemia cells. Dr Casorati and her team now want to see if they can develop this technique further by focusing their attention on a powerful immune cell called a Natural Killer T-cell. Their project aims to genetically engineer Natural Killer T-cells so that they recognise leukaemia cells and test their cancer killing ability in the lab. They hope that their technique will one day be turned into a new treatment for leukaemia.

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