Julie Nielsen, PhD
Advisor: Dr. Brad Nelson
Immune Response to Lymphoma and Myeloma: Implications for Cancer Vaccines and Adoptive T Cell Therapy
I am studying the immune response to lymphoid cancers with the goal of developing immune-based treatments for lymphoma and myeloma. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the fifth most common type of cancer in Canada. Many patients live with measurable disease for years with no evidence of disease progression and it is thought that this may be a result of patients mounting active anti-tumour immune responses. In support of this idea, recent studies where lymphomas were examined for the presence of tumour-infiltrating immune cells concluded that patient survival is positively correlated to the density of T cell infiltration in tumour tissue. I am using genomic approaches to identify novel antigens that are expressed by lymphoid cancers and can serve as targets for therapeutic T cell responses. I am currently recruiting lymphoma and myeloma patients, as well as cancer-free participants in order to address these issues. The ultimate goal of this project is to initiate clinical trials of immune-based therapies for lymphoma and myeloma patients at our centre.