Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) are genetically engineered molecules that can redirect T cells to recognise particular antigens, such as those expressed by cancer cells. T cells that are transduced by CAR targeting CD19 have been effective in treating B cell cancers, e.g. B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and B-cell lymphoma, where conventional treatments have failed. This exciting technology is one of the major breakthroughs in cancer therapy this decade but many challenges remain. These include cancer relapse due to loss of CAR T cells, antigen escape (loss of CD19) or other as yet undefined mechanisms; life-threatening neurological adverse events and cytokine release syndrome; and lack of significant success to date with CAR T cells targeting other cancers. This project involves engineering CAR T cells for use in cancer immunotherapy.
Suitable for Honours and PhD students.