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Identifying protective T cell functions in colorectal tumours

By Ms Jessica Harte, University of Otago (PhD Scholarship)

The immune response has been shown to be an important factor in determining patient survival in colorectal cancer.

However, the immune response within the tumour can consist of cells that both support or inhibit tumour growth. Immune therapies that have been successful in a number or other cancers have not been as successful in treating colorectal cancer. I hypothesise that the tumours of people with colorectal cancer contain unique immune signatures that can be used to predict the outcome of individuals and therefore help to better target therapies. I will study the composition of the immune cells in the tumours of people with colorectal cancer and identify potential targets for improved immune therapy.