Arrow / HCC PhD scholarship recipient is closer to discovering a new treatment option

Featured in the Arrow Newsletter, Issue 2, 2015.

Michael Papadimitrious, from Dendritic Cell Research, prepares his first paper.

DCBTG-0218Michael is making good progress on a medical research project that aims to introduce a new treatment option for patients that are diagnosed with multiple myeloma or acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Current treatment options include chemotherapy and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which can have adverse effects including cell toxicity and Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD). A new alternative may be cellular therapy which uses cells from the patient’s own immune system to treat the disease. If successful, cellular therapy may be applied to other haematological malignancies and will drive the patient into remission while improving overall well being. Michael is working on a project that trains the patient’s immune system to recognise the tumour, and generate an anti-tumour immune response.

Professor Derek Hart, Professor of Transplantation and Immunotherapy, University of Sydney, wrote: “His project is progressing well and Michael is performing independent experimental activity on our program to use human blood dendritic cells (DC) for therapeutic vaccination. He has used CMRF-56 to select human DC and validated their ability to migrate and present RNA loaded antigens as two highly novel observations – he is now preparing his first paper. He is starting to validate their use to generate T cell responses to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), multiple myeloma (MM) and prostate cancer. He presented his research at the American Association of Immunologists Annual Meeting in May 2015. He also visited our Boston collaborator, Dr Avigan. His group, which has just imported our system, has published impressive results using DC/MM fusion vaccines and they are now combining these with checkpoint inhibitors. Michael’s work is now contributing to two translational projects aimed at developing therapeutic DC vaccination for AML and prostate cancer. The latter has progressed to attracting Sydney Catalyst Funding and clinical collaborators.”

Arrow is pleased to support this very promising medical research project and look forward to keeping you informed of Michael’s progress in this area.

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