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National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre
Our Research: Cancer Precision Medicine

Optimising immunotherapies

Establishing a state-of-the-art laboratory to predict which patients will benefit from immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy is designed to boost the body’s natural defence to fight cancer by triggering the immune system.  It can be an effective treatment for patients with advanced chemo and radio-resistant tumours, but immunotherapies are currently effective only in a minority of patients and can cause significant side effects.

The identification of biomarkers to predict an individual’s likely response to immunotherapy could hold the key to realising the potential of this type of treatment.

We are establishing a Tumour Immunology and Inflammation Monitoring Laboratory to enable us to monitor immune responses and discover novel immunotherapy biomarkers.

In the new laboratory we will:

  • Assess and monitor the immune status and immune responses in patients taking part in novel immunotherapy trials via studies on tumour biopsies and blood samples
  • Set up a research programme to discover biomarkers that identify individuals most likely to respond well to treatment and those that might experience toxicity

This research will leverage support from The University of Manchester’s biomarker expertise. The new laboratory will also support aspects of our Advanced Radiotherapy, Dermatology, and Respiratory research.