Associate Professor Paul Neeson completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne (Pathology), before doing a post-doc in the Paterson lab (University of Pennsylvania) where he worked on B-cell lymphoma vaccines. He returned to Melbourne and established the human immunology translational lab (HITRL) in Cancer Immunology Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The lab’s original focus was in haematological cancers, examining responses to novel immunotherapy combinations. Along with the increasing clinical interest in Immuno-Oncology, his lab now also examines the immune context of solid tumours and patient responses to checkpoint inhibitor or chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy.
Recent immunotherapy trials have shown dramatic responses in patients with a wide range of cancer sub-types. However, predicting which patients will respond to immunotherapy, and what type of immunotherapy is appropriate has proven difficult. To address these issues, we have developed a range of technologies to explore the immune context of human cancer including multiplex immuno-histochemistry, immune gene expression profile and immune signal network analysis on primary or metastatic tumour FFPE sections. We have also developed a TIL (tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte) program to explore the immune context by mass cytometry in fresh tumour samples.