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Understanding tumour dendritic cells to make better therapeutic vaccines for prostate cancer

Project: Understanding tumour dendritic cells to make better therapeutic vaccines for prostate cancer.

  • Primary supervisor: Clare Bennett
  • Secondary supervisor: Mark Linch

This is a 3-year PhD studentship funded by The Percy Stevens Award which covers tuition fees at the UK rate and a stipend of £21,000 per year. The start date for this studentship is October/November 2022.  Closing date: 26th September 2022, 5:00pm (BST)

Description

Patients with advanced prostate cancer have not benefited from the advances in immunotherapies seen in other cancers. Despite this, the therapeutic dendritic cell (DC) vaccine, Sipuleucel-T is the best single treatment for metastatic prostate cancer discovered in recent decades. This success proves that we can use DCs to activate the immune system to kill prostate tumour cells, but the survival benefit from Sipuleucel is short and we need to build on this early achievement to make better vaccines.

DCs are a group of white blood cells with special roles in detecting infected or cancerous cells and teaching T-cells to attack the diseased tissue. But, at the moment we don’t know which of these DCs are found in prostate tumours, and which are the best DCs to fight the disease.

This new collaboration between Dr Bennett and Dr Linch’s laboratories will be used to apply our experience in DC biology to unique clinical trial samples at the UCL Cancer Institute. We will investigate the types of DC found in tumours from prostate cancer patients and use this information to develop new DC vaccines to improve treatment.

Application Procedure

For more information and to apply, please download the following documents:

Shortlisting and notification will likely take place W/C 10th October 2022. Queries about the application procedure or recruitment process should be directed to: ci.scholarships@ucl.ac.uk