Immunotherapies are a type of 'biological therapy' that influence the immune system and help fight disease. They can stimulate the immune system to detect and and target cancer cells, or may suppress an over-active immune system for treatment of autoimmune disease. These immunotherapies can be highly effective against various diseases, and may be in the form of antibodies or vaccines. 

Immunotherapy research at TRI includes:

  • UQ Professor Riccardo Dolcetti's group is currently exploring the therapeutic potential of a novel cancer vaccine, and is exploring strategies to overcome resistance to cancer immunotherapies.
  • Associate Professor Kristen Radford leads the Mater Research Cancer Immunotherapies Research Team, with a focus on human dendritic cell biology and translating findings into health benefits. This research group has developed novel research tools, including humanised mice models, which are highly sought after in the biomedical world and continues to lead in this area.
  • UQ Professor Nikolas Haass is investigating ways to mark melanoma cells for detection by the immune system, to enhance the anti-tumour response. 

In addition, the following companies based at TRI are achieving translational success and progressing their immunotherapy products through clinical trials:

Admedus Immunotherapies is a global medical technologies company based at TRI that is currently involved in demonstrating clinical proof of concept for a vaccine to treat HPV-associated head and neck cancers. Check out the TRIangle Video Series: Episode 2 - Immunotherapies for Head and Neck Cancer to learn more. 

Dendright is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based at TRI developing an immunotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Founded by UQ Professor Ranjeny Thomas, the team at Dendright have developed and patented a liposome vaccine strategy to induce antigen-specific tolerance in rheumatoid arthritis.

To find out more about their technology, watch this video


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Key Researchers
Riccardo Dolcetti
Ian Frazer
Antje Blumenthal
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Rheumatoid arthritis vaccine

Rheumatoid Arthritis vaccine 

Professor Ranjeny Thomas has led the development and Phase I clinical trial of a first-in-class immunotherapy for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).