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The VICTORY Consortium

The Virus-Induced Cancer: Translational Oncology Research and immunologY consortium is a national programme awarded by the Open Fund Large Collaborative Grant (OF-LCG), NMRC in 2018. The programme gathers a national translational team of key opinion leaders, synergistically combining their expertise to develop immunotherapeutic strategies against virally-driven cancers (VDCs) through in-depth basic and translational studies into the biology of VDCs and their tumour microenvironment. These studies will examine host and viral interactions in the tumour and its corresponding microenvironment, with a particular focus on how VDCs induce immunosuppression, and then build on subsequent target discovery and validation, harnessing the knowledge generated to design experimental therapeutics.

Major VDCs will be examined such as:

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-driven nasopharyngeal cancer, lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC), EBV+ gastric cancer and NKT lymphoma,
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)-driven oropharyngeal cancer and cervical cancer, and
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-driven hepatocellular carcinoma.

Virus-induced cancers in Asia account for over 60% of global VDCs, and are still expected to increase in incidence. The VICTORY consortium harnesses unique, competitive capabilities and resources across academic institutions and industry to establish:

  1. The world's largest collection of functionally and clinically annotated VDC biospecimens, the VDC Biobank, which forms a centrepiece for the consortium for systematic comprehensive analytics,
  2.  Deep immunophenotyping and broad omics capabilities to complete a comprehensive characterisation of the VDC immune microenvironment, including molecular, functional and mechanistic assessments of VDC immune suppression,
  3. Novel humanised mouse models of VDCs able to host both human solid cancers and a recapitulated human immune system, and shown to harbour oncogenic virus infection,
  4. A strong interdisciplinary team of world-class clinician-scientists, immunologists, virologists, molecular biologists, metabolism experts etc, and
  5. Robust collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies locally and internationally and with the non-profit Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

The VICTORY consortium creates an unprecedented, coordinated, leading global centre of VDC excellence embracing the biomedical, academic healthcare, and industry sectors.