Professor Benny Chain
To get rid of cancer, our immune systems have T cells which track down tumour cells and attack them. Unfortunately this response isn’t always effective and tumours develop ways to shake the T cells off. At University College London, Professor Benny Chain’s research seeks to better understand these cells and what’s needed to launch an effective response against cancer.
To do this, Professor Chain’s team is looking at 250 patients from our pioneering TRACERx study, which is tracking the evolution of a type of lung cancer. They want to find out whether having lots of protective T cells in these tumours is linked with the number of genetic faults found in the cancer cells. If that turns out to be the case, Professor Chain will also look into whether this relationship could help predict a patient’s outlook.
On top of shedding new light on this hard-to-treat disease, this information could lead to the development of new immune-boosting treatments that are tailored to each patient’s tumour, helping to improve outcomes.