UCL Cancer Institute


Cellular therapies to prevent or treat post-transplant relapse

Research theme 3

Theme Lead: Dr Claire Roddie (formerly: Professor Karl Peggs)

T-cell therapies

The researchers in this theme applied their in-depth knowledge and experience of the use of unmanipulated donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) both to prevent and treat relapse following stem cell transplants. Whilst the anti-tumour activity of DLIs is well established, Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD) is the major toxic side effect that can be fatal. Separation of GvHD from Graft-versus-Tumour Activity is difficult as they largely depend on the same T-cell receptor (TCR)-mediated recognition of different tissue-specific antigens. 

The researchers in this unit significantly advanced CAR T-cell therapy treatments for patients with blood cancers, when their cancer comes back (relapse) after a stem cell transplant or does not respond to available treatments (refractory). They raised understanding about this new treatment in the BBC Two documentary 'War in the Blood' and additional funds for progressing CAR T-cell therapies for blood and other cancers, clinical delivery of these therapies in the NHS and research including the Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for Cellular Immunotherapy at University College London Hospitals. Find out more about UCL CAR T programme