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Vaccine development and checkpoint receptor blockade against cancer

Sukanya Raghavan

Contact Information | List of Publications

Project 1: Development of a mucosal vaccine against Helicobacter pylori infection

Project 2:  Clinical response to immune therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer


Project 1: Development of a mucosal vaccine against Helicobacter pylori  infection

Our group is interested in developing an effective low cost vaccine against chronic H. pylori infection known to cause gastric cancer. In order to achieve this goal, we have evaluated formalin-killed bacteria or recombinant antigens, as prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines in the mouse model administered through the intragastric or sublingual routes with potent but non-enterotoxic mucosal adjuvants.

In addition, we are also studying the pre-vaccine CD4+ T cell immune responses including interferon and interleukin-17A secretion and IgA and IgG antibody responses in H. pylori infected individuals in a low and middle-income country where H. pylori infection is endemic.

Over the last 20+ years, we have been successful in defining several important protective anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory mechanisms operating during H. pylori infection in a mouse model (see picture). We have developed a putative vaccine for testing in Phase I trials in low and middle-income countries (Vaccine 2018). Our long-term goal is to perform a Phase I clinical trial with a GMP produced H. pylori vaccine in countries at high risk for developing H. pylori associated gastric cancer.


CD4+ T-cell subsets in the gastric mucosa and cytokines important for vaccine-induced protection against H. pylori infection. Click here for details.


Project 2:  Clinical response to immune therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

The project will identify both genetic and immune biomarkers related to treatment response in patients with Stage III/IV non-small cell lung cancer undergoing therapy with antibodies blocking checkpoint receptors.

In spite of the tremendous success of immune checkpoint receptor blockade across multiple tumor types, a substantial number of patients remain unresponsive to the treatment. The effects of immune checkpoint receptor blockade on the tumor biology and the immune system are largely unknown, particularly why some patients respond to the treatment whereas others do not.

Using high throughput gene and protein expression systems, our group is interested in identifying pathways contributing to response or resistance to immune checkpoint receptor blockade in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Our studies aim to identify biomarkers to help monitor or predict responses to the treatment and guide future treatment decisions. With the help of measurable biomarkers, the clinicians can offer patients, an immune therapy regimen that is most likely to achieve a durable response.

Link to review article on this subject




Group members

Sukanya Raghavan, PhD, Associate Professor (docent), group leader
Frida Jeverstam, Technician
Nikita Dutta, PhD student
Sara Dedonato, Research assistant
Anna Rohlin, PhD (associated) 
Andreas Hallqvist, MD (associated) 

Sidansvarig: Dan Baeckström|Sidan uppdaterades: 2019-06-09

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