White blood cells of the immune system can cure cancer in rare cases. However, in most patients the immune system does not recognise cancer as a danger. By genetically engineering white blood cells we will enable the immune system to recognize and fight cancer.
Our previous studies have demonstrated that white blood cells genetically engineered with an anti-cancer gene can reject cancer in mice. However these cancers eventually relapse. Thus in this project one of our major aims is to investigate why cancer relapses in this model and test new approaches to overcome this problem. The second part of the project will evaluate several key issues with regard to testing our approach in patients. This includes testing the capacity to insert our anti-cancer gene into white blood cells from patients and testing the safety and toxicity of our approach. These studies may lead to new therapy options for cancer patients.
Dr Phillip Darcy, Dr Michael Kershaw, Professor Joseph Trapani
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Research Grant: 2007-2009
$ 70,000 per annum