Project title: Personalised interleukin-12 therapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma without toxicity through protease-sensitive masking and tumour targeting
Project aims: Immunotherapies which harness the body’s natural defences to fight cancer do not work well with pancreatic cancer – possibly because pancreatic tumours have fewer immune cells within them to harness than other cancers.
Dr Ishihara has developed a unique new drug compound that can be used alongside immunotherapy drugs to target pancreatic cancer, activating specific immune cells called T-cells that are within the tumour. Initial tests on mice have shown that the new compound allows the immunotherapy to be more successful, and with fewer side effects.
He believes the drug has potential to be personalised to individual patients’ tumours, so that more people respond to the immunotherapy. This new grant will allow him to develop this potential new treatment further.