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The future for immunology


Tumour immunology
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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I did one smart thing to bring Hans Stauss to the University College from... he was a German who had been post-doccing in Chicago and I think he wanted to get back to Europe, and he was in tune with the times. He thought that progress would only be made by identifying particular peptides which might be important in cancer rejection. And that is what has happened worldwide. A famous group with Thierry Boon in Brussels identified a whole raft of well-defined peptides against which it was possible to raise cytotoxic T-cells where... and that is where the hope for immunotherapy of cancer still lies, and Hans Stauss is right in the middle of that with his own particular raft of peptides and trying to immunise against them. I have to say that, what, where are we now, at the beginning of the next century, that move took place in the 1990s, started in the 1990s, and it's the wave which has built up since and there are all sorts of new wrinkles, there is hope in the air, there are numerous clinical trials under way and the jury is out. There- certainly the results with the peptide antigens has not been quite as encouraging as we hoped but at least that whole approach is in much better shape than immune surveillance ever was.

Avrion Mitchison, the British zoologist, is currently Professor Emeritus at University College London and is best known for his work demonstrating the role of lymphocytes in tumour rejection and for the separate and cooperative roles of T- and B-lymphocytes in this and other processes.

Listeners: Martin Raff

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Duration: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010