The Immune System Strikes Back – Targeting the Kynurenine Pathway « Charlie Teo Foundation

The Immune System Strikes Back – Targeting the Kynurenine Pathway

Researcher name: Dr Seray Adams
Institution: Macquarie University, AUS
Grant name: More Data Grant
Grant amount: $141K
Grant years: 2018-2020

Meet the Researcher

Dr Seray Adams is an up and comer cancer researcher. Driven by her passion to help brain cancer patients, she has learned from Australia’s leading brain cancer researchers and now leads innovative brain cancer research.

The Kynurenine Pathway has long been implicated in helping cancer cells evade the immune system. However, this project questions the accepted by looking at the lower segment of this pathway, which is not currently focused on and investigates ways to switch it back in favour of attacking the cancer, instead of protecting it.

Immunotherapies, the clinical regimens that empower a patient’s immune system to fight the disease like it might fight an infection, has been successful in many cancers but failed in brain cancer. If we can find an immunotherapy to work in brain cancer, no other drug or course of treatment can generate the long-term benefits of having our immune system keeping constant surveillance for any future cancer growth.   

Investigating the kynurenine pathway as a potential biomarker for predicting glioma patient prognosis and tumour grade

Activity of a metabolic pathway in cancer prevents the immune system from maintaining control over cancer growth. One metabolic pathway known to help the cancer avoid destruction from the immune system is tryptophan metabolism. This research aims to understand how this pathway disrupts the immune system and contributes to brain cancer aggressiveness. Understanding the role the pathway plays in promoting brain cancer growth could identify new treatment strategies for treating brain cancers. Utilising the pathway as a clinically useful tool may allow more accurate brain cancer diagnosis and better predict patient survival and tumour aggressiveness.