Leukaemia Foundation

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Dr Ming-Celine Dubosq

PhD Scholarship (Clinical)

Supported by NSW Community Foundation,
N & P Pinter Trust 

Researcher:          Dr Ming-Celine Dubosq
Institute:               University of Sydney, Westmead Millennium
                               Institute (NSW)
Project title:          Generating genetically modified (CAR)
                               T-cells to treat blood cancers
Disease focus:     Myeloma 
Annual Funding:  $60,000 
Funding period:   2015-2017

Project summary  

A new, cell-based therapy for treating blood cancers could offer hope for Australians with myeloma.

Following promising results in the United States from an early phase clinical trial in patients with leukaemias and lymphomas, Sydney-based Dr Ming-Celine Dubosq is working on replicating the treatment for myeloma.

Dr Dubosq is creating potent, anti-cancer killing T-cells to target and destroy myeloma. T-cells are an inherent part of the body’s immune defence system. This emerging therapy involves modifying T-cells to eradicate cancer cells.

“I’m altering T-cells to express chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs for short,” said Dr Dubosq.

“CARs help T-cells to detect and specifically destroy tumour cells with minimal toxicity to normal tissues.

“My aim is create an optimised myeloma-specific CAR and to see if it can enhance other biological therapies. If successful, this CAR will be used in future early phase clinical trials in patients with refractory/relapsed myeloma.”

Prior to beginning this project, Dr Dubosq created a preliminary CAR against myeloma based on an antibody which has in-vitro activity against myeloma cell lines.

In addition to developing a myeloma treatment, Dr Dubosq also is extending her Masters research in which she successfully generated CD19-specific CAR T-cells. (CD19 is a protein on the surface of B-cells and is associated with B-cell cancers, such as B-cell lymphoma). As part of her clinical PhD, Dr Dubosq is generating CD-19 CAR cells for use in clinical trials.

Dr Dubosq’s research is under the supervision of previous Leukaemia Foundation National Research Program grant recipient Dr Kenneth Micklethwaite who is a haematologist at Westmead Hospital.