News & Events

The Moss team wins LLR grant to optimise GvL

Article Date: 11.09.12
Category: Clinical Trials

Professor Paul Moss, Dr Ram Malladi, and their research team have won a 5 year Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research grant to understand and optimise graft-versus-leukaemia responses after stem cell transplantation.

SCT is one of the most effective ways to cure leukaemia, and this relies on powerful immune responses elicited by  donor immune cells against the patient’s tumour cells, a phenomenon known as the graft-versus-leukaemia (or GvL) effect. However, GvL is often accompanied by a more generalised immune attack against the patient’s body that can culminate in potentially fatal graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).  is a key aim of this LLR-funded programme. Professor Moss explained: “Understanding the molecular processes governing GvL, and finding ways to specifically boost these without boosting GvHD, is a central aim of this Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research-funded programme. ”

One approach the team are using to achieve this is to vaccinate healthy donors to increase the number of immune cells capable of recognising leukaemic cells once they are transferred to the patient. In addition to this, the team are also studying the genetics of transplantation, and have previously identified novel polymorphic genes where allelic variants appear to make a major difference to SCT outcome. Ongoing efforts are focussed on understanding the immunological mechanisms underlying these effects. “Hopefully, an increased understanding should lead to new therapeutic interventions to increase the efficacy and safety of SCT,” commented Professor Moss.

To watch Professor Moss talk about Stem Cell Transplantation, click here.