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Human T cell immunity against tumour antigens

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof. Jim Kaufman.

Host: Peter Goon (pg336@cam.ac.uk)

My group studies human T cells and their potential role in therapy of pre-malignant and malignant diseases. Our main focus has been on human papillomaviruses (HPV) that are associated with the development of cervical cancer. We developed techniques to study HPV specific T cells responses for a series of phase I/II trials with a candidate therapeutic vaccine (TA-HPV). We demonstrated that systemic T cell responses against HPV were relatively weak, both in vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients. Nevertheless we could isolate and grow T cell clones from rare populations, that could kill cancer cells in vitro. This suggests a therapeutic potential for HPV specific T cells but new approaches will be required to induce large numbers of efficacious T cells. We are currently defining new T cell targets based on proteins that are abnormally expressed in cancer. These targets may be applicable to a broad range of human cancers, particularly those caused by oncogenic viruses.

This talk is part of the Immunology in Pathology series.

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