Professor Peter Johnson

Understanding the immune system to fight cancer

Professor Peter Johnson is the director of the Southampton Cancer Research UK Centre. He is a leading expert in lymphoma, a cancer that affects the body’s disease-fighting white blood cells.

Professor Johnson recently led a clinical trial for patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. He was looking at how a sophisticated type of imaging early on during treatment could help predict how well tumours were responding to chemotherapy. The findings will allow doctors to tailor treatment to each individual patient, meaning better outcomes and fewer side effects.

On top of this, Professor Johnson is also working on improving a promising type of treatment known as immunotherapy, which boosts the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. In collaboration with several other institutions, he and his team are analysing samples from patients with melanoma, lung and oesophageal cancers.

Seeing how the patients’ cells are responding to the treatment will help guide treatment decisions and the design of future clinical trials. Ultimately, this could lead to better, kinder treatments for patients.


Lung cancer
Hodgkin lymphoma
Oesophageal cancer
Clinical trials

Somers Cancer Research Building, General Hospital, Southampton