Meet Bryce Thomas, B Advanced Studies (Honours) Alegra’s Army PhD

Bryce is the newest PhD candidate and member of the Cancer Signalling Research Group under the supervision of Prof Matt Dun. Bryce’s project will build upon RUN DIPG scholar Mika Persson’s research exploring the immune landscape of DIPG/DMG tumours and will
develop cancer specific therapies like chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. CAR T cells are a type of “living drug” which are a new and exciting form of cancer treatment called immunotherapies. CAR T cell technology utilises white blood cells taken from
patients that are genetically modified and grown in the lab to target a cancer protein which we then then given back to patients to selectively kill their own cancer. Bryce will build on his three years of experience working with CAR T cells across several
cancers including DIPG/DMG, as well as his Honours project where he received the Neil and Norma Hill Foundation award for best translation research project, investigating new safety mechanism to improve CAR T cell therapy.

We are so proud to be supporting his research through our recent funding of A/Prof Matt Dun and look forward to his updates.

In just a few months in the role he has won a presentation award at the Australian Paediatric Immunotherapy Conference on his work developing a new immunotherapy (chimeric antigen recptor T cell therapy or ‘CART’) for DIPG, the data is very exciting!!


A note from Bryce,
Ijust wanted to share with you all my first review article “CAR T cell therapies for diffuse midline glioma” that was recently published in the high impact journal, Trends in Cancer.
“The article discusses current challenges and poor outcomes associated with conventional therapies for patients with DMG, as well ways the tumours avoid detection by the immune system by creating a “cold” environment CAR T cells are an exciting therapy that have been incredibly successful in treating various types of blood cancers and are now being explored for other tumours like DMG. T cells, which are the killer cells of the immune system, are taken from the patient and are trained to target proteins expressed on cancer cells. These new CAR T cells are then given back to patients to target and kill their own tumours. Excitingly, there are several CAR T cells trials running at the moment and are an exciting prospect for the future of DMG therapy.”
Read the full article below.