Manipulating the immune system to fight prostate cancer
- Researcher: Dr John Maher
- Institution: King's College London, England
- Award Amount: £197,164 for 3 years from December 2013
- Cancer Type: Prostate Cancer
For these men there are few treatment options remaining so new ones are being urgently sought.In the laboratory, Dr Maher will genetically alter T cells that specifically recognise prostate cancer cells, taken from men with mCRPC. He will then inject a large number of these altered T cells into mice with prostate tumours. Once the T cells stick to a prostate cancer cell, the T cells are designed to make genes which help the body destroy the cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells unharmed.
The team hope that one of genes will also ensure that the T-cells can produce more T-cells by taking advantage of the environment in which the tumour is located, which is altered by the prostate cancer. Depending on his findings in mice, Dr Maher is hoping that his T-cells could be used in a human clinical trial in the next few years. He is already doing a clinical based on findings from his previous Worldwide Cancer Research grant for patients with head and neck cancers and we are excited at the thought that this may also be possible for prostate cancer patients one day.
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