Cancer Research UK calls on immunologists to join fight against cancer

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is calling on non-cancer immunologists to apply their ground-breaking research to cancer by submitting applications for the Cancer Immunology Project Awards

"Bringing a fresh perspective to the problem of how cancers are able to hide away from the immune system and finding ways to exploit this has the potential to lead to a powerful new range of treatments" - Professor Tim Elliott

The Awards support work to build our understanding of the role the immune system plays in cancer. They provide three years of funding, up to £300,000, that can be used to fund scientific posts and associated running costs.

The immune system plays an essential role in the tumour microenvironment and how immune cells interact with tumours. And while recent research has revealed a number of exciting new ways of using the immune system to tackle cancer, there are still many unanswered questions.

To address these important questions, the Cancer Research UK Cancer Immunology Project Award encourages immunologists from fields outside of cancer to bring their expertise to research the disease. Research funded by these project awards could help harness the power of the immune system to treat cancer by improving our understanding of the interplay between immune cells and tumours.

This could involve studying how the immune system behaves in inflammation, allergy, transplantation and auto immune diseases or; how the immune system responds to infection. Other areas of interest could include mechanisms of immune tolerance and how the function of the immune system is regulated.  By funding this important research, Cancer Research UK aims to grow the UK’s research base in cancer immunology.

Professor Tim Elliott, chair of the expert review panel for the Cancer Research UK Cancer Immunology Project Award, said: “Using the body’s own defence system to hunt down and destroy cancer cells is an incredibly exciting area of research that is already leading to new treatments. The Cancer Research UK Immunology Project Award harnesses the strength in UK immunology research by encouraging more researchers to join this growing field. Bringing a fresh perspective to the problem of how cancers are able to hide away from the immune system and finding ways to exploit this has the potential to lead to a powerful new range of treatments.”

Dr David Scott, Cancer Research UK’s director of science funding, said: “In the UK there is a significant base of high quality immunology research, but little is directed towards cancer. We want to apply approaches from non-cancer immunological research in a cancer context as there are likely to be many similarities between the immune responses observed in other diseases and cancer.”

ENDS

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