Dr David Pinato of Imperial awarded CRUK Postdoctoral Bursary

12 Dec 2017

Dr David Pinato has been awarded with a Cancer Research UK Postdoctoral Bursary for his project - Phenotypic characterisation of the anti-tumour immune response following loco-regional therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE) can enhance anti-tumour immunity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, spontaneous immune responses to TACE are weak and incapable of promoting long-term disease control. In preliminary experiments, we demonstrated PD-L2 up-regulation in TACE pre-treated HCC tissue, suggesting a role for PD-ligands in inducing immune exhaustion after TACE.

This study aims to phenotypically characterise the anti-tumour immune response induced by TACE at a cellular and molecular level in resection/transplantation patients treated with and without TACE.  Transcriptomic and immune cell phenotyping will be performed and data obtained will be correlated with survival and response to TACE.

This study will provide molecular candidates that will be prioritized for further mechanistic characterisation in prospective studies with the ultimate aim of facilitating the delivery of personalised immunotherapy and rationalise clinical testing of therapeutic combinations in HCC.

Learn more about CRUK's funding opportunities for PostDocs