The Sentinel

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SOCIETY FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY OF CANCER (SITC).

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Desmond Omane Acheampong, PhD, MSc, BSc

Acheampong

Name: Desmond Omane Acheampong, PhD, MSc, BSc

Title: Senior Lecturer

Employer: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I became a member of SITC on 20th July, 2017. My motivation was to get the opportunity to share and acquire knowledge with scientists with similar research focus.

Can you briefly explain the work you are doing in the field?

I am a Lecturer and Researcher in Immunotherapy. The focus of my research has been the design, construction and development of bispecific antibodies/protein for cancer therapy.

Who or what inspired you to choose this specific career path?

I had my PhD in this field of research and developed the interest right from there. Also, I have a conviction that the best therapeutic option for cancer is immunotherapy. Unfortunately, immunotherapy is yet to receive the needed attention in Africa. It is therefore my opinion that there should be a conscious effort to make immunotherapy accessible to the people of Ghana, and for that matter, Africa

What are some of the biggest challenges you are facing in the field?

It takes a lot of time and resources to develop a single immunotherapeutic agent. Additionally these agents are relatively expensive compared to the conventional treatment options such as chemo and radiotherapy. This is the main reason why immunotherapy is rare in Africa. An average African cannot afford immunotherapy.

What topic(s) do you plan to write about for The Sentinel, SITC’s new blog?

Immunotherapy and the African perspective.

What do you hope readers will gain from this new blog?

I trust readers will appreciate and understand that Africa has not yet embraced immunotherapy and therefore the need to intensify the education about immunotherapy in this part of the world.  

3 comments:

  1. Grt work Dr.

    From std at Opass: Mikhail Agyemang

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  2. Welcome at SITC! The accomplishments of SITC in cancer immunotherapy are essential and greatly help new therapeutic developments, patient care and education in this field.

    I am dealing with antibody engineering. Bispecific antibodies are getting into highlights. I would be interested what antigens your construct targets and which strategies and biotechnological compounds are you using? I know, working among challenging circumstances is hard, so I greatly appreciate what you are working on.

    Greetings from Hungary/ Beatrix Kotlan/ kotlanbea@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment. In our current studies we have been targeting VEGFR2 and EGFR simultaneously with our construct (diabody) for enhanced antitumor activity. You can please read this article for detail: 'Menghuai Xu*, Desmond Omane Acheampong*, Haizhen Jin, Zhiguo Chen, Wei Xie, Youfu Wang, Yang Wang, Min Wang and Juan Zhang. (2016). A novel bispecific diabody targeting both vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and epidermal growth factor receptor for enhanced anti-tumor activity. Biotechnol Prog. 32(2): 294-302. DOI: 10.1002/btpr.2231'. Also have constructed bispecific fusion antibody targeting VEGFR2 and MICA simultaneously. You can please check this paper too for detail 'Desmond O. Acheampong, Mingying Tang, Youfu Wang, Xin Zhao, Wei Xie, Zhiguo Chen, Wenzhi Tian, Min Wang, and Juan Zhang. (2017). A Novel Fusion Antibody Exhibits Antiangiogenic Activity and Stimulates NK Cell-mediated Immune Surveillance through Fused NKG2D Ligand. J Immunother. 40(3):94-103. DOI: 10.1097/CJI.0000000000000157'.

      Thank you very much.

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