Role of regulatory B cells in response to immunotherapy in advance cancers

Axelle China (PhD student)

Dr Sylvie Amu was awarded the inaugural Dermot Costello Immunology Fellowship, which is a ‘5 for the Fight’ partnership between Qualtrics and Breakthrough Cancer Research. Dr Amu started in January 2019 and her team now consists of a PhD student, Axelle China, and a research assistant, David Zelaya.

In recent decades the emergence of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer has changed the outcome for many patients with advanced cancer. However, only about 20%-30% of patients will benefit from the treatment. One way of improving the effect of immunotherapy is to decrease the immunosuppressive environment of the tumour.

Dr Sylvie Amu was awarded the Dermot Costello Cancer Research Fellowship in 2018. Dr Amu and her team, aim to study one of these suppressor immune cells, regulatory B cells, in the tumour and blood of cancer patients, and to determine how best to stop their suppressive function. By blocking or removing this suppressive cell subset we will permit an immune anti-tumour response to occur which will result in the killing of tumour cells and an improved clinical outcome for the patients.


Research Findings


Healey Bird B, Nally K, Ronan K, Clarke G, Amu S, Almeida AS, Flavin R, Finn S. Cancer Immunotherapy with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors-Biomarkers of Response and Toxicity; Current Limitations and Future Promise. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Jan 6;12(1):124. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12010124. PMID: 35054292; PMCID: PMC8775044.


Start year:
End year:
Principal Investigator:
Dr Sylvie Amu
University College Cork
Grant funding:
Dermott Costello Immunotherapy Fellowship
Linked Breakthrough Research Priorities: 
2, 4

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