The Translational Cancer Immunotherapy Laboratory studies the interaction between the immune response and tumour control, with a particular emphasis on translating our ever-expanding basic science knowledge into clinically applicable therapeutic platforms. It has particular interest and expertise in bone marrow transplantation and cell and gene therapy. It is one of only a few centres in Australia that are conducting investigator-driven clinical trials using gene-modified T cells.
Bone marrow transplantation is arguably the most established form of cancer immunotherapy. Its curative potential resides in the donor-derived immunity, which can mediate a potent “graft-versus-leukaemia” immune response and eliminate otherwise incurable blood cancer. In the past decade, a number of new immunotherapeutic approaches have emerged. One of the most exciting and transformative is Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T and NK cells, which are gene-modified immune cells that have shown striking efficacy in certain types of blood cancers. Our research is focused on the development and validation of new cellular immunotherapy strategies that are safer, more efficacious, and have broader applicability; with the aim of translation into early phase clinical trials. We also have a strong interest in graft-versus-host disease, which is a common and life-threatening immune-related complication following bone marrow transplantation. In addition to pre-clinical and clinical translational research, our group also study aspects of basic immunology that underpins and informs cellular immunotherapy, specifically the impact of viral infection and cytokine signaling on the broader immune landscape, including anti-tumour immunity and immunopathology.
Team Head: Dr Siok Tey
- Dr Andrea Henden, Research Officer
- Alda Saldan, PhD student
- Adaeze Ekwe, PhD Student
- Benjamin McEnroe, Research Assistant
- Raymond Au, Research Assistant
- Ryan Hall, Masters student
- Cassie Hua, Honours Student
- Brian Kahnamelli, Medical student (volunteer)
Dr Tey’s full publication list can be viewed at her:
- Zhang P, Raju J, Ullah MA, Au R, Varelias A, Gartlan KH, Olver SD, Samson LD, Sturgeon E, Zomerdijk N, Avery J, Gargett T, Brown MP, Coin LJ, Ganesamoorthy D, Hutchins C, Pratt GR, Kennedy GA, Morton AJ, Curley CI, Hill GR, Tey SK. Phase I Trial of Inducible Caspase 9 T Cells in Adult Stem Cell Transplant Demonstrates Massive Clonotypic Proliferative Potential and Long-term Persistence of Transgenic T Cells. Clin Cancer Res 2019;25:1749-55.
- Zhang P, Curley CI, Mudie K, Nakagaki M, Hill GR, Roberts JA, Tey SK. Effect of plasmapheresis on ATG (Thymoglobulin) clearance prior to adoptive T cell transfer. Bone Marrow Transplant 2019.
- Zhang P, Ganesamoorthy D, Nguyen SH, Au R, Coin LJ, Tey S-K. Analysis of polyclonal vector integration sites using Nanopore sequencing as a scalable, cost-effective platform. bioRxiv 2019:833897.
- Zhang P, Tey SK. Adoptive T Cell Therapy Following Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Front Immunol 2019;10:1854.
- Tey SK, Hill GR. Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease: Therapeutics at Last? . The Hematologist – American Society of Hematology News and Reports 2019;16:6 – 7.
- Martins JP, Andoniou CE, Fleming P, Kuns RD, Schuster IS, Voigt V, Daly S, Varelias A, Tey SK, Degli-Esposti MA, Hill GR. Strain-specific antibody therapy prevents cytomegalovirus reactivation after transplantation. Science 2019;363:288-93.
- Zhang P, Lee JS, Gartlan KH, Schuster IS, Comerford I, Varelias A, Ullah MA, Vuckovic S, Koyama M, Kuns RD, Locke KR, Beckett KJ, Olver SD, Samson LD, Montes de Oca M, de Labastida Rivera F, Clouston AD, Belz GT, Blazar BR, MacDonald KP, McColl SR, Thomas R, Engwerda CR, Degli-Esposti MA, Kallies A, Tey SK, Hill GR. Eomesodermin promotes the development of type 1 regulatory T (TR1) cells. Sci Immunol 2017;2.
- Ullah MA, Hill GR, Tey SK. Functional Reconstitution of Natural Killer Cells in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Front Immunol 2016;7:144.
- Tey SK, Vuckovic S, Varelias A, Martins JP, Olver S, Samson L, Sturgeon E, Leach J, Avery J, Nakagaki M, Butler JP, Curley C, Morton AJ, Durrant ST, Kennedy GA, Hill GR. Pharmacokinetics and immunological outcomes of alemtuzumab-based treatment for steroid-refractory acute GvHD. Bone Marrow Transplant 2016;51:1153-5.
- Di Stasi A, Tey SK, Dotti G, Fujita Y, Kennedy-Nasser A, Martinez C, Straathof K, Liu E, Durett AG, Grilley B, Liu H, Cruz CR, Savoldo B, Gee AP, Schindler J, Krance RA, Heslop HE, Spencer DM, Rooney CM, Brenner MK. Inducible apoptosis as a safety switch for adoptive cell therapy. N Engl J Med 2011;365:1673-83.
- Individualised killers – the peripheral maturation of natural killer (NK) cells
- Show me the way – CARs redirecting T cells for cancer immunotherapy
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