Project No. 01

Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer

Training the body’s immune system to fight cancer, for a future when advanced prostate cancer treatment could mean a single injection, with tiny side effects

S c r o l l   R i g h t

The Project

The immunotherapy project is working to harness the immune system's innate ability to fight cancer.

How?

PCRC scientists are using a naturally occurring protein to help the immune system attack cancerous cells.

IL-15

IL-15 is a 'chemical tail' - an extra molecule - which anchors the protein at the precise location of the cancer.

What could this achieve?

This treatment would require one injection, with permanent effects. This could revolutionise the treatment of prostate cancer.

The future

What's next?

The project was awarded additional funding from PCRC in 2018 and will have a new researcher joining the team soon.

The Project

The immunotherapy project is working to harness the immune system's innate ability to fight cancer.

How?

PCRC scientists are using a naturally occurring protein to help the immune system attack cancerous cells.

IL-15

IL-15 is a 'chemical tail' - an extra molecule - which anchors the protein at the precise location of the cancer.

What could this achieve?

This treatment would require one injection, with permanent effects. This could revolutionise the treatment of prostate cancer.

The future

What's next?

The project was awarded additional funding from PCRC in 2018 and will have a new researcher joining the team soon.

Project Start

January 2015

Research Facility

MRC Centre for Transplantation, Guy's Hospital London

Budget

£300,000/year

End

December 2019

Dr Christine Galustian

Team Leader

Christine Galustian was a graduate student at Imperial College, before becoming a MRC non-clinical postdoctoral research fellow. She then led a team at St Georges University of London, investigating mechanisms of action of immunotherapeutic drugs. Christine is now a PCRC senior fellow developing novel immunotherapeutic agents for treating prostate cancer at KCL. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, music and reading crime novels.

Dr Efthymia Papaevangelou

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Efthymia has a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Cancer Therapeutics. She finished her PhD in Cancer Biology and Imaging in 2013 and moved on to a post-doctoral position where she investigated the efficacy and effects of novel tumour therapies on pre-clinical models utilising a variety of imaging modalities, including MRI, MRS and ultrasound. She is currently researching the immunological and biological changes caused by novel immunotherapies on prostate cancer models.

Dr Ana Maria Da Silva

Protein Chemist

After finishing her degree in Biochemistry at the University of Lisbon, Ana moved to the New University of Lisbon for a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry which was completed beginning 2015. In 2016 she started working as a Post-Doctoral researcher at Queen Mary University of London in a project that involved the biophysical characterization of a membrane protein.

Giulio Giustarini

Research Assistant

Giulio Giustarini studied Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Pisa. He was then awarded a two year research scholarship to pursue MSc studies. He investigated inflammation and the pharmacological and toxicoloical effects of drugs in inflammatory bowel diseases, before moving on to Utrecht Universtity (where he will soon defend his thesis) t investigate the immune system's involvement in drug-induced liver inury. His passion for immunology brought him to Christine's lab, where he is now investigating the mechanisms by which immunotherapies can train the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

Ffion Harris

PhD Student

Ffion graduated from Cardiff university with a BSc in Biomedical Science before moving to KCL to complete an MSc in Immunology. It was here that her interest in cancer immunotherapy began and following a Master's Project in Dr Galustian's lab, she was taken on as a PhD student. Her project aims to identify immunomodulatory molecules expressed by prostate cancer cells and how these could be targeted using novel therapies. This studentship is funded by the KCL MRC Doctorate Training Partnership with additional consumable funding kindly provided from the PCRC allowing for comprehensive experimental investigations using the latest molecular biological techniques.

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