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Millions from Beat Cancer earmarked for immunotherapy research

Immunotherapy that affects the body's T cells has proven to have a good effect on a number of patients with melanoma. Now the question is which patients the immunotherapy is effective on. And also whether patients with a strong immune system benefit most from the treatment. Associate Professor Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen has received DKK 2.5 million to investigate this.

2019.11.08 | Lise Wendel Eriksen

Martin Roelsgaard, Department of Biomedicine, receives DKK 2,5 million to carry out research into immunotherapy.

The purpose of immunotherapy is to strengthen the body's immune system, so that it can overcome diseases. Specifically, it has to with strengthening the body’s killer cells in the immune system – the T cells – so that they become more active and are better at fighting cancer and other diseases. One way of doing this is by using what are known as checkpoint inhibitors.

Immunotherapy, which affects the immune system’s T cells, has proven to have a positive effect in around fifty per cent of all patients with advanced melanoma. It also appears that the treatment can cure one in five patients. However, immunotherapy is not effective on everyone and can also have serious side effects.

Associate Professor and PhD Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen from the Department of Biomedicine receives DKK 2.5 million from this year's Beat Cancer fundraising campaign. Working with his research colleagues, he will use the money to carry out research into whether the immune cells in the innate immune system can give an indication of how the individual patient will react to treatment with checkpoint inhibitors, and also whether patients with a strong innate immune system will benefit more from the checkpoint inhibitor treatment than others.

The project is taking place in a close collaboration between the Department of Biomedicine, the Department of Oncology and the Department of Molecular Medicine at Aarhus University Hospital.


Associate Professor Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine
Mobile: (+45) 2615 3369
Email: mrj@biomed.au.dk

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