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Benjamin Fairfax

BM BCh, MRCP, PhD


Associate Professor

  • Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellow
  • Hon. Consultant Medical Oncologist

Group Leader

Research Interests

Checkpoint Immunotherapy has revolutionised the treatment of multiple cancer subtypes, notably melanoma.

Clinical outcomes from these treatments are variable however. Toxicity, in the form of immune related adverse events, is a frequent cause of patient morbidity, whilst many patients' tumours show only limited sensitivity to immunotherapy.

This inter-patient heterogeneity in response is determined by features of the cancer - such as driver mutations and overall mutational burden, as well as tumour-extrinsic factors. These include past immune exposures of the patient, genetically determined features of the immune system and other factors including potentially the microbiome (most notably the bacterial strains within the gut).

My group is interested in the interplay between patients' immune systems and their response to checkpoint immunotherapy. We study this in samples generously donated by cancer patients who have received treatment in the OUH.

We hope the findings of our work will further our understanding of how the immune system can tackle cancer, improving oncological outcomes from cancer immunotherapy whilst reduce suffering due to side effects.

Recent publications

More publications