Close up of researcher working with samples in a lab

Research projects

Developing a vaccine to destroy cancer cells that survive chemotherapy

Dr Gregory Ehx
Project period
Jan 2024 - Dec 2026
Research Institute
University of Liege
Cancer types
Award amount

Project aim

Dr Gregory Ehx and his team want to develop a new vaccine for cancer that works by teaching our immune system to destroy cancer cells that survive chemotherapy. They hope this vaccine would work in combination with chemotherapy to stop cancer coming back.

Hope for the future

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for many cancer types but unfortunately some cancer cells can survive this therapy. When cancer cells remain after chemotherapy it can cause cancer to come back.

Immunotherapy is a different type of treatment, where our own immune systems are given extra tools to help attack cancer cells. Dr Gregory Ehx and his team are exploring an innovative type of immunotherapy, where a vaccine helps our immune cells to better find and destroy cancer cells. They hope this will be a new way to target those cancer cells that survive chemotherapy.


Dr Gregory Ehx with a view of Belgium

Meet the scientist

Gregory has a deep passion for video games and science-fiction literature and films. In particular, he is a huge fan of Michael Crichton. He says that “Science-fiction has been quite successful in predicting some of the most incredible scientific breakthroughs of our century, so staying in touch with it can help liberate our minds as researchers.” Consequently, one of his favourite movies ever is Jurassic Park.

The science

Dr Gregory Ehx and his team want to discover more about ‘chemoresistant’ cancer cells that survive chemotherapy. They hope to identify which peptides (small fragments of proteins) are unique to chemoresistant cells and how to use these peptides as targets for new treatments.

The GIGA institute in Belgium has state-of-the-art research facilities that will allow the team to use genetic sequencing, chemical analysis and computer programming to pinpoint the peptides with potential.

Next Dr Ehx will develop a vaccine that would teach T cells in our immune system to search for these peptides and destroy the chemoresistant cells. The researchers hope this vaccine could be taken in combination with existing treatments to better stop cancer. Although the team are using leukaemia models, they hope to find peptides common to lots of cancer types, so there is potential to help more people with cancer.  

Dr Gregory Ehx with a view of Belgium Dr Gregory Ehx
This funding will enable me to initiate the most challenging and exciting research program within my laboratory. So, I extend my heartfelt thanks to Curestarters! I genuinely hope that our work will one day benefit patients.

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