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Discovering the protective immune response to lung cancer

Project Description

The immune system plays a key role in controlling cancer and recent clinical trials have demonstrated that enhancing anti-cancer immunity can result in dramatic improvements in patient outcome and survival. However, not all patients respond to these forms of treatment and we need to understand why. In this project, the student will study the T lymphocyte immune response against non-small cell lung carcinoma. The project tests the hypothesis that many T lymphocytes, each with a different antigen receptor for tumour (known as a polyclonal response), can co-operate to deliver a more effective anti-tumour response, than a response made up of only one or a few types of T cell (known as a mono- or oligoclonal response).

You will have access to a unique set of genomic and immunological data arising from the TRACERx study, which collects sequential tumour and blood samples from a large cohort of lung cancer patients post-surgery. The project will provide training in cutting edge technologies in molecular and cellular immunology (including next generation sequencing, high dimension flow cytometry and the application of lentiviral vectors) together with the advanced computational and bioinformatic skills needed for analysis of the large data sets some of these methods generate.

More detailed information about the research project is available on request from

Funding Notes

Funded by Cancer Research UK

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