Research Group

  • Prof. Kathryn Wood, Principal Investigator
  • Dr Paul N. Harden, Co-Investigator


  • University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


  • Immune Regulation in Transplant Recipients with and without Skin Cancer

Transplantation is a successful way to treat people whose own organs stop working. To prevent rejection, transplant recipients have to take potent drugs for the rest of their lives that inhibit/suppress the immune response to the transplant. One of the unwanted side effects of these immunosuppressive drugs is that they suppress the entire immune system and not just the immune response to the transplant. Unfortunately, as a result, transplant recipients have an increased risk of developing infections and cancer than other people.

Control is a key feature of any immune response. Understanding how the immune system is controlled when it responds to a transplant and how immunosuppressive drugs affect these natural control mechanisms holds the key to reducing the unwanted side-effects of immunosuppression, such as the increased risk of cancer.

In this project, kidney transplant recipients who have had a functioning transplant for more than 10 years will be invited to take part. We will perform simple blood tests to investigate if there is a relationship between controlling the immune response to a kidney transplant and the development of skin cancer. We hope that the results we obtain will enable us to develop a way of predicting whether some transplant recipients have a higher risk of developing skin cancer in the long term after transplantation.

Progress Report