Immunogenicity of Colorectal Cancer
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Wales, with over 2000 cases diagnosed every year. Unlike for some other cancers such as melanoma, bowel cancer has yet to benefit from advances in immunotherapies, which harness the immune system to attack and kill tumours. The reasons for this discrepancy are uncertain, meaning there is a clear need to understand the role of the immune system in bowel cancer to help improve immunotherapies.
This Cancer Research Wales funded study is investigating the way white blood cells called T cells recognise and interact with bowel cancer cells, to understand why these T cells cannot prevent the tumour from developing. The team are using advanced techniques to analyse which cancer proteins are recognised by the T cells and to explore the mechanisms the cancer uses to prevent T cells from attacking it effectively.
With the information obtained from this exciting study, the team hope to be able to inform the design of better immunotherapies that can effectively treat patients, with the potential to revolutionise the treatment of bowel cancer.