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Professor Nullin Divecha working at a lab bench, surrounded by various containers and equipment.

Supercharging your immune system

Published: 14 November 2022

Researchers from Southampton have found a potential new treatment that could boost the power of the human immune system, helping it to find and destroy cancer cells within the body.

A patient’s immune system is more than able to detect and remove cancer cells, and immunotherapy pioneered at Southampton has recently emerged as a novel therapy for many different types of cancers. However, cancer cells generate a microenvironment within the tumour that stops the immune system from working, thereby limiting the general use and success of immunotherapy.

Professor Nullin Divecha - Professor of Cellular Signalling in Biological Sciences

Nullin and his laboratory team have identified a way to stop this microenvironment from occurring by restricting the activity of a group of enzymes in cells called PIP4K that regulate the immune system. This in turn unleashes other immune cells to attack tumours in cancer patients.