Immunotherapy is the way to go with future cancer treatment

Cristian Capasso has lived many a doctoral student's dream in life science and health research: his research has contributed significantly to a technology that is already in clinical trials.

Cristian Capasso from the Faculty of Pharmacy studied and combined three main immunotherapy strategies in his dissertation: oncolytic adenoviruses, cancer vaccines, and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Capasso has been a significant part in developing PeptiCRAd, a cancer vaccine that combines the first two of the above-mentioned approaches and uses immunogenic viruses as active carriers of tumour-specific peptides. The peptides then direct the immune system to specifically target and kill cancer cells.

– It is nice for me to know that PeptiCRAd, as one of my very first projects, has reached the clinical trial stage via VALO Therapeutics. It will be tested on humans next year. I am very lucky in seeing that my work can have such an impact on patients, and I feel very proud of it!

Immunotherapy relies on the patient’s own immune system and it is delivering impressive results at the moment, world-wide.

– Many drugs based on this principle are being approved on the market, Capasso describes.


Cristian Capasso will defend his doctoral dissertation entitled "Development of novel vaccine platforms for the treatment of cancer" on 8 June 2018 at 12:15. The public examination will take place at Biocenter 2 (Viikinkaari 5), auditorium 1041.