Radiotherapy (RT) is one of the most important anti-cancer treatments with nearly 50% of all cancer patients receiving RT at some point during their treatment. In addition to the direct cytoreductive effect, RT-induced cellular stress can render tumour cells immunogenic. However, both preclinical and clinical data demonstrate that as a monotherapy RT is usually insufficient to induce durable antitumor immune responses.
My research focuses on enhancing antitumor immune responses following RT through combination with various immunomodulatory agents involving monoclonal antibodies (mAb) such as mAb targeting CD40; signalling through which can license cross presentation of tumour-associated antigens by antigen presenting cells (APC).
I’m also interested in understanding how the different subsets of APC frequently found to infiltrate established tumour, including macrophages (MΦ) and dendritic cells (DC) impact on the priming of tumour specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes following therapy and whether antitumor responses can be improved by manipulation of these tumour-resident APC populations.
The second area of my interest is enhancing efficacy of anti-CD20 antibody therapy in B cell malignancies. Although monoclonal antibodies have significantly improved treatment of B cell malignancies, many patients relapse and develop progressive disease following treatment. Therefore, I look into combining the anti-CD20 antibody with other immunomodulatory agents that could generate durable antitumor immune responses.