Exploring the immunome of oesophageal adenocarcinoma using bioinformatics to assess and predict responses to neoadjuvant therapy (Immune-AEGIS)

The immune system is made up of cells that are designed to protect the body from infection and disease, like cancer. However, in patients with cancer, the immune system often does not do this well. Recently, a new treatment for cancer has been tested - called immunotherapy, which uses the patient?s own immune system to fight the cancer. Given these exciting new developments in cancer treatment, we must develop a greater understanding of how cancer cells avoid being killed by the immune system and find out which patients will benefit most from new immunotherapies. Not all patients who receive treatment for cancer benefit from chemo or radiation treatment and their cancer comes back. Only one in five patients diagnosed with oesophageal cancer will be alive after five years. We will use bioinformatics -the science for analysing complex biological data such as genetic codes to identify which cells of the immune system are found surrounding oesophageal cancer cells. Using samples from patients participating in a clinical trial of treatment for oesophageal cancer, this project will study the immune cells that surround the cancer [known as the "tumour microenvironment"] to see if we can find out which factors result in poor response to treatment. Ultimately, we hope to better understand how to combine immunotherapy with standard chemo and radiation therapies so can improve survival and eliminate ineffective use of treatment.

Award Date
27 September 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Claire Donohoe
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Applying Research into Policy & Practice Postdoctoral Fellowships