Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

NDORMS researchers join five other universities to investigate how cancer survivors make antibodies that target and destroy tumours, and explore routes for new treatments

None © Shutterstock
T-cells may play an important role in cancer survival

Funded by eminent philanthropist and three time cancer survivor Dr James Hull, researchers from the Universities of Oxford, Swansea, Surrey, Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham, and Royal Surrey County Hospital, will undertake non-invasive investigations of immune systems and tumour cells to identify any unique features which could explain why patients surviving advanced cancer have remained cancer free.

The study will focus on patients who have had successful treatment of advanced cancer and in whom the cancer has not reoccurred for at least 5 years, to explore whether patients' antibodies can be used to design new treatments for people that may not otherwise survive.

The team at NDORMS is investigating how cancer survivors make antibodies that target and destroy their tumours. Professor Patrick Venables, co-lead of the study, said: "One area of interest for us is pancreatic cancer; the most lethal of the common cancers in humans. In metastatic pancreatic cancer, where it has spread to other organs in the body, the survival rate is less than 1%. In these rare, long-term survivors there is evidence that the tumour has been killed by the body's own immune system. In Oxford we are examining blood in survivors of metastatic pancreatic cancer to establish how the immune system can control the disease".

Professor Kim Midwood adds: "We have identified some new and exciting antibody targets in a cohort of pancreatic cancer survivors. We now need to understand if these antibodies act as a common mechanism of protection against cancer, found in all long-term survivors, or whether different tumour-destroying antibodies are responsible for the survival of different people, with different types of cancer. We will use this information to design new immune-based treatments for people with cancer who would not otherwise survive".

James Hull, philanthropist and CEO and Founder of Continuum Life Sciences said: "I am very grateful to be a cancer survivor and wholeheartedly thank all those involved in my treatment journey. I want to find out everything we can about this devastating illness to spare future generations the difficulties I have gone through in my fight against cancer.

"Bringing together the best cancer experts in the country and equipping them with the resources they need is one way I can do this and I am very excited to see what they uncover."

The Continuum Long-term Survivor study is recruiting patients who have had an aggressive, locally advanced and/or metastatic cancer which resolved completely with treatment and have remained free of the disease without maintenance treatment for 5 years or longer. To take part please email cltsstudy@continuumlifesciences.com or alternatively call the free phone number 0800 144 8488.

Similar stories

Yoshi Itoh wins the International Dupuytren Award 2022

Yoshi Itoh, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator Cell Migration Group at the Kennedy Institute has been awarded the International Dupuytren Award 2022.

Taking a break from immune-suppressing medicines doubles the antibody response to COVID-19 booster vaccination

The Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit (OCTRU) at NDORMS played a key role in the VROOM study which found that pausing immune-suppressing medicines such as methotrexate can increase the response to COVID-19 booster jabs.

Ten Years of Athena Swan in the Medical Sciences Division

2022 marks ten years since the first Athena Swan Bronze applications from the Medical Sciences Division. Ten years later, and all 16 departments in the Division have achieved a Silver Award. We look at NDORMS’ Athena Swan journey.

NDORMS researchers awarded Associate Professor title

The University of Oxford has awarded the title of Associate Professor to Adam Cribbs and Luke Jostins.

Oxford's largest ever study into varicose veins shows need for surgery is linked to genetics

A new international study by Oxford researchers published in Nature Communications, establishes for the first time a critical genetic risk score to predict the likelihood of patients suffering with varicose veins to require surgery, as well as pointing the way towards potential new therapies.

Reflecting on the role of Clinical Director of Trauma and Orthopaedics

In 2021 Professor Andrew Price was appointed Clinical Director of Trauma and Orthopaedics at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. After 9 months in post, we find out what the challenges are and what he’s been able to bring to the role.