Harnessing immunogenic cell death mechanisms to trigger antitumour immunity

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Cancer Research
Department Name: Division of Breast Cancer Research


Death is not an endpoint, but the beginning of a novel communication axis between dying cells and cells of the immune system. The way in which a cell dies dramatically alters the danger signals that get released. While apoptosis tilts towards an immunologic silent outcome, non-apoptotic forms of cell death, such as caspase-independent necroptosis, can be highly immunogenic. The successful PhD candidate will investigate how non-apoptotic cell death mechanisms can be used to open a new line of communication with immune cells. Specifically, he/she will use ICR-developed PROTAC degraders in combination with radiation therapy to rewire cell death signalling pathways into caspaseindependent forms of cell death. We will test whether killing cancer cells by non-apoptotic forms of cell death more effectively drives an immune response against tumours, hence enhancing the effectiveness of radiotherapy.


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