Christian Ottensmeier : Cancer Research UK
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Christian Ottensmeier

Researcher Christian Ottensmeier profile image

Cancer vaccines - harnessing the immune system to fight cancer

University of Southampton
Southampton University Hospitals NHS Found. trust
SO16 6YD
United Kingdom

Tel: 023 8079 5161
Web: Lab website

Professor Christian Ottensmeier and his team based at Southampton University are at the forefront of research into cancer vaccines. This novel approach to cancer treatment aims to stimulate the body's own immune system to recognise and kill the cancer cells. The technique is being tested as a treatment for cancers such as lymphoma and myeloma.

Dr Ottensmeier is developing DNA-based cancer vaccines for the treatment of a variety of different cancers.

The DNA vaccines contain the genetic code for molecules found on the surface of cancer cells. When the vaccine is injected into the body, special cells in the body absorb it and start to produce these molecules. This alerts the immune system, which mounts an attack against the cancer cells.

Dr Ottensmeier's first DNA vaccine has shown promising results in early-stage clinical trials for lymphoma and myeloma. The team has developed several more vaccines and these are being tested in clinical trials for the treatment of several cancers including prostate, bowel, breast and lung.

Dr Ottensmeier and his team are now carrying out further studies in the laboratory to improve the design of DNA vaccines and the way that they are delivered to patients. They are also developing techniques to monitor the strength and type of immune responses produced by patients following treatment.

This ground-breaking work should lead to the development of more effective cancer vaccines and will be useful for monitoring the success of future clinical trials testing these novel treatments.

While the treatment of lymphomas and of solid tumours has undergone significant changes over the last decades, many patients with these cancers still have incurable disease. More recently the classical treatment modalities of are being complemented by new approaches, which focus on activating the immune system against the cancer present in the patient.

Other research projects by Christian Ottensmeier