13 11 20

Information and support

  • Get informed
  • Get support
  • Cut my risk
  • Get involved
  • Research
  • Research home > Beat Cancer Project search > Immune therapy to treat solid cancers

    Immune therapy to treat solid cancers

    Dr Tessa Gargett

    Immunotherapy stimulates the immune system to attack and kill tumours. The immune system contains cells that have the unique capacity to destroy cancer, however tumours often develop ways to turn off these cells and escape destruction. The most successful new immunotherapies (trade names Keytruda, Opdivo and Yervoy) work by blocking the tumour's method of escaping and allowing the immune system to kill cancerous cells. These therapies can be highly effective and around 40% of patients with melanoma will respond to therapy, with some patients even achieving a complete response where their tumours are eradicated. However, despite these promising results, approximately 60% of melanoma patients do not respond. Other forms of solid cancers like brain cancer also fail to respond, and so these patients are completely missing out on these breakthrough treatments.


    Our lab wants to extend the promise of immunotherapy to all patients. That's why we're testing brand new immunebased therapies specifically designed to boost the immune system in solid cancer patients. We have one clinical trial currently running at the Royal Adelaide Hospital which tests a personalised cell therapy in patients with melanoma. We will soon commence two new cell therapy clinical trials in patients with brain cancer.

    This project will help develop these trials and also follow patients receiving the new treatment to see how they respond.



  • Apply for funding

    Apply for funding

    Find out more about applications for funding.

  • Cancer statistics

    Cancer statistics

    Access the latest cancer statistics for South Australia

  • Clinical trials

    Clinical trials

    Access the list of current clinical trials taking place in South Australia.