Dr Michael Schmid

Investigating the role of the immune system in pancreatic cancer

Dr Michael Schmid at the University of Liverpool focuses on pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage, when the cancer has spread. This makes it difficult to treat and we urgently need new drugs to tackle the disease. 

Dr Schmid is investigating what conditions might help pancreatic cancer cells to spread. Specifically, he’s looking at how they reach the liver, where the disease commonly spreads to. His team has recently shown that the presence of certain immune cells and other supporting cells in the liver are vital to allow pancreatic cancer cells to lodge in this part of the body.

His new research findings suggest that these cells might shield the cancer cells from view of other immune cells, called cytotoxic T cells, which would normally attack the cancer. By understanding how the body’s immune cells can affect how pancreatic cancer spreads, Dr Schmid ultimately aims to find potential new treatments that could help change the outlook for this disease.

Pancreatic cancer

Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool