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Dr Shao-An Xue
Department of Immunology, Royal Free Hospital
Rowland Hill Street
Tel: 020 7794 0500 36663
Fax: 020 7433 1943
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Div of Infection & Immunity
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
Research Summary
Conventional cancer therapies are limited by their toxicity and lack of specificity. To achieve targeted immunotherapy of cancer, we have chosen Wilm's Tumour antigen (WT1) as a target as it is overexpressed in most leukaemia and many solid cancers. We have successfully cloned WT1-specific T cell receptor (WT1-TCR) genes in order to achieve this goal (Xue et al. Blood 2005 106(9): 3062-7). Using sophisticated WT1-TCR retroviral constructs, we have performed in vivo engraftment studies with CD34+ leukaemic progenitor cells. In our model, treatment with WT1-TCR engineered patiens' T cells had cleared patients own leukaemic cells. As the analysis of bone marrow indicated that control group showed evident engraftment of human leukaemia cells, while the WT1-TCR treated group had none detectable. These data have provided a solid basis for a phase I/II clinical trial, demonstrating that WT1-TCR engineering of patient's T cells offers a simple and efficient way of producing tumour specific T cells to cure human leukaemia. In addition to the leukaemia program, we have sought to treat other WT1-expressing malignancies using WT1-TCR gene therapy approach. In particular, combination of oncolytic viral vectors with WT1-TCR gene transfer strategy can improve the efficacy of cancer immunogene therapy strategy. We are therefore developing both approaches in our laboratory. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpes virus, is associated with a number of human malignancies, including the fast growing childhood B-cell malignancy, Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), B-cell lymphomas of immunocompromised patients, and the undifferentiated epithelial tumour, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). EBV is also almost 100% associated with the highly aggressive NK/T cell lymphoma/leukaemia. We reasoned that by combining the oncolytic viral strategy with EBV specific TCR gene transfer, we can potentially eradicate some EBV-associated cancers.
Teaching Summary
In the past years, I have been involved in supervision of research projects for BSc, MSc and PhD students. I am also interested in participating in teaching of short courses for BSc and MSc students.
Academic Background
1999 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Virology Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
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