Improving immunotherapy for blood cancer

Lead researcher - Professor Tim Illidge, University of Manchester
Investigating the requirement for immunogenic cell death in the generation of anti-cancer immunity and eradication of haematological cancers
Amount awarded: £243,834
Award start date: 23 Mar 2015
Award duration: 5 years (60 months)

In leukaemia and lymphoma, cancer cells can come back after responding to initial treatment and are usually more resistant to treatment than they were previously. We badly need new treatments that can improve long-term outcomes for people with these types of cancer.

Professor Illidge is working on a promising new treatment called immunotherapy, which stimulates the body’s immune system to attack and kill the cancer cells that remain after the first treatment. His team are particularly interested in understanding how dying cancer cells can interact with the immune system, and how this is different depending on the treatment that has killed them. Knowing more about what happens in these circumstances will help us find out which kinds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy are best to use in combination with immunotherapy, and hopefully improve how we treat blood cancers.