Helping our immune system to fight cancer

Cancer cell under attack (University of Southampton)

Cancer cell under attack (University of Southampton)

The February talk will be given by Prof. Tim Elliott, Professor of Experimental Oncology at the University of Southampton. Tim will be talking about his research into using our own immune systems to fight cancer.

Poster for Prof. Tim Elliott

Poster for Prof. Tim Elliott

Cancer immunology studies the interaction between the immune system and cancer cells. The very idea of harnessing the immune system to fight cancer was first pioneered at Southampton in 1974, and since then we have been at the forefront of this field. Our treatments in the form of vaccines and antibodies direct a patient’s immune cells to identify and remove cancer. The treatments not only destroy visible cancer cells but also seek out and eradicate hidden cancers in other parts of the body, potentially offering a lifetime of immunity. The process is much less invasive than radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and with reduced side effects. Science magazine named it the “number one global scientific breakthrough of the year” in 2013.

Tim is the Director of the new Southampton Centre for Cancer Immunology which is due to open in 2017. He is a deputy Director of the interdisciplinary Southampton Institute for Life Sciences and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Tim has incorporated discoveries in the area of antigen processing, T cell regulation and immunodominance into the development of new cancer immunotherapies and is the recipient of a Royal Society / Wolfson Research Merit Award.