AITHM James Cook University


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AITHM Seminar: Natural Killer Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy

24 July 2018, 1:00pm - 24 July 2018, 2:00pm

Location: Cairns A001.015, video link to Townsville 48.204

Therapies targeting the immune system are revolutionising cancer treatment by reactivating tumour-resident cytotoxic lymphocytes. Current clinical practice and drug development is focused on checkpoints known to suppress tumour-resident CD8 T cells, however, given the emerging resistance to such therapies and the unresponsiveness of the majority of cancer patients, interest in other effector populations, such as natural killer (NK) cells is growing. NK cells possess an innate ability to detect and lyse transformed cells and NK cell activity is inversely correlated with cancer incidence in humans and experimental metastasis in mice. In the context of NK cell immune surveillance, it is not clear why some solid tumours generate metastasis while others do not. Our recent generation of the specific NK cell deficient mouse has revealed that several primary tumours models regarded as non-metastatic do indeed generate spontaneous metastasis that are specifically detected and eradicated by NK cells.

About the Presenter

Associate Professor Nick Huntington leads a research program aimed at deciphering the regulatory networks that control NK cell homeostasis and tumour surveillance. Associate Professor Huntington was awarded the 2016 Burnet Prize for his discovery of checkpoints in NK cell activation in tumour immunity and serves as Project Director on an academic/industry collaborative research project aimed at drugging these checkpoints.

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