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Steph McArdle

Stephanie McArdle

Senior Research Fellow

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr. McArdle is the lead Research Scientist in T-cell vaccines development and assessment at the  John van Geest Cancer Research Centre.Dr. McArdle has successfully supervised 10 PhD students as DoS and 14 as second supervisor, she also regularly supervises MSc/MRes students

Career overview

  • 2006- to present: Senior Research Fellow at the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre.
  • 2005-2007: Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), Nottingham Trent University.
  • 1999-2006: Research Fellow at the Nottingham Trent University.
  • 1995-1999: PhD: Sheffield University.
  • 1993-1995: B.Sc. (Hons 2.1), Metropolitan University of Manchester.
  • 1991-1993: D.U.T Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie, option ABB, Paris, France.

Research areas

Dr. McArdle is a Research Scientist in Tumour Immunology whose focus is on the development of T-cell vaccines against cancers. In particular, Dr. McArdle has identified a mutated Prostatic Acid Phosphatase, PAP, derived sequence, which, when injected with CAF09, a strong adjuvant (kind gift from Dr. Dennis Christensen, Serum Institute, Denmark), is capable of generating T-cells that produce high level of IFNg against vaccine-derived wild-type peptides using ex-vivo ELISPOT assay. This sequence has now been granted patent in Europe and in the US. Preclinical works are ongoing to gather the necessary data for a phase-0/I clinical trial for the treatment of hormone resistant prostate cancer. Dr. McArdle is also working on a HAGE- and mutated NY-ESO1-derived peptide sequences for the treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). HAGE antigen has previously been shown to be a prognostic marker for breast cancer patients and a predictor of response to adjuvant chemotherapy (Abdel-Fatah, et al. 2014). In collaboration with Dr. Abdel-Fatah, HAGE was shown to be expressed in 47% of TNBC (Abdel-Fatah, et al. 2016). Dr. McArdle has recently set up a new collaboration with Dr. Sara Mangsbo at Upsala University (Sweden) where immune complexes will be used to deliver and stimulate strong immune responses against HAGE and NY-ESO1 sequences.

In addition, in collaboration with Scancell Ltd she is investigating the potential use of a combined TRP2 and WT1 vaccine for the treatment of Glioblastoma. Many of these antigens can also be used against other cancer, for example, HAGE and WT1 are also being investigated for the treatment of Leukaemia.

Dr. McArdle collaborates with many European laboratories which offers strong adjuvants such as CAF09 (Dr. Dennis Christensen, Serum Institute, Denmark), Immune-complexes (Dr. Sara Mangsbo (Upsala University, Sweden), L-Dopa, a precursor of melanin (Dr. Antoine Carpentier, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France) as well as UK collaborator such as Prof. Lindy Durrant (Immunobody®, Nottingham University).

Dr. McArdle has also a particular interest in the effect of exercise, mental health and gut microbiota on the immune system of cancer patients and a study in ongoing in prostate cancer patients to assess the level of inflammation related molecules, the psychological status and the gut permeability of prostate benign vs cancer patients. She is keen to emphasise the importance of one’s life style on one’s health. She has previously organised two “Health and Well Being” day dedicated to promote self-help. The next “Health and Well-Being day” being scheduled for March 16th 2019.

“Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website”.

External activity

    Dr. McArdle gives regular talks to prostate cancer support groups/charity such as PROSTaid ( and Breast Cancer Support group. She organises “Health and Well-Being Day”. She has overseen an International project involving nine laboratories which was then presented at the European Society of cancer and immunotherapy (ESCII) conference held in Athens, Oct. 2008. Dr. McArdle has also organised two ELISPOT workshops in collaboration with Cellular Technology Ltd (CTLdt) and PIVAC 12 conference which were all great successes.

    Dr. McArdle is an associate member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), a member of the European Society of Cancer and Immunotherapy (ESCII) and a member of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). Dr. McArdle regularly reviews original articles as well as project grants.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Prof. E. Tartour, Head INSERM team : "Immunotherapy and anti-angiogenic therapy in oncology". Located at INSERM U970 Hopital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.
  • Prof. M. Bellone, Cellular Immunology, Laboratory of Tumour Immunology, Scientific Institute, H. San Raffaele Milan, Italy
  • Des Powe, Principal Healthcare Research Scientist, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.
  • Dr. Steve Chan, Consultant Oncologist, Department of Clinical Oncology, City Hospital, Nottingham.
  • Dr. Tarek MA Abdel-Fatah, MB BCh, MSc , MD , PhD, Consultant Pathologist, Nottingham
  • L. Durrant, Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Clinical Oncology, Nottingham City Hospital
  • Dr. D. Christensen (CAF09), Head of Vaccine Delivery and Formulation Research Section at Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Mr. M. Khan, MD, MS, Consultant Urological Surgeon within University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Department of Urology, Leicester General Hospital
  • Dr. A.F. Carpentier,  MD, PhD, is a neuro-oncologist, head of the department of neurology in Saint-Louis hospital
  • Dr. S. Mangsbo, Head of Clinical Immunology at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology,Upsala University,Sweden.


Recent Publications

  1. Hood SP, Foulds GA, Imrie H, Reeder S, McArdle SE, Khan M, Pockley AG.  Phenotype and function of activated natural killer cells from patients with prostate cancer: Patient-dependent responses to priming and IL-2 activation. Frontiers in Immunology 2019. (Accepted).
  2. Immune-phenotyping and transcriptomic profiling of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with breast cancer: Identification of a 3 gene signature which predicts relapse of triple negative breast cancer. Foulds GA, Vadakekolathu J, Abdel-Fatah TMA, Nagarajan D, Reeder S, Johnson C, Hood S, Moseley P.M, Chan SYT, Pockley A.G, Rutella S, McArdle S.E. Frontiers in Immunology Front Immunol. 2018 Sep 11;9:2028.
  3. Cosma G, McArdle SE, Reeder S, Foulds G, Hood S, Khan M, Pockley AG. Identifying the presence of prostate cancer in individuals with PSA levels <20 ng/ml using computational data extraction analysis of high dimensional peripheral blood flow cytometric phenotyping data. Frontiers in Immunology. 2017. 8:1771. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01771.
  4. Abdel-Fatah TM, McArdle SE, Agarwal D, Moseley PM, Green AR, Ball GR, Pockley AG, Ellis IO, Rees RC, Chan SY. HAGE in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a novel prognostic, predictive and actionable biomarker: A Transcriptomic and protein expression analysis. Clin Cancer Res. 2016. 22(4):905-14. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-0610.
  5. Fry LJ, Querol S, Gomez SG, McArdle S, Rees R, Madrigal JA. Vox Sang. 2015;109(2):181-90. doi: 10.1111/vox.12267.
  6. Sundararaman S, Karulin AY, Ansari T, BenHamouda N, Gottwein J, Laxmanan S, Levine SM, Loffredo JT, McArdle S, Neudoerfl C, Roen D, Silina K, Welch M, Lehmann PV. High Reproducibility of ELISPOT Counts from Nine Different Laboratories. Cells. 2015;4(1):21-39. doi: 10.3390/cells4010021. Open access Cell biology Journal.
  7. Fry LJ, Querol S, Gomez SG, McArdle S, Rees R, Madrigal JA. Assessing the toxic effects of DMSO on cord blood to determine exposure time limits and the optimum concentration for cryopreservation. Vox Sang. 2015;109(2):181-90. doi: 10.1111/vox.12267.
  8. Abdel-Fatah TM, McArdle SE, Johnson C, Moseley PM, Ball GR, Pockley AG, Ellis IO, Rees RC, Chan SY. HAGE (DDX43) is a biomarker for poor prognosis and a predictor of chemotherapy response in breast cancer. Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(10):2450-61. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.168.
  9. Saif JM, Vadakekolathu J, Rane SS, McDonald D, Ahmad M, Mathieu M, Pockley AG, Durrant L, Metheringham R, Rees RC,McArdle SE. Novel prostate acid phosphatase-based peptide vaccination strategy induces antigen-specific T-cell responses and limits tumour growth in mice. Eur J Immunol. 2014; 44(4):994-1004. doi: 10.1002/eji.201343863.
  10. Fry LJ, Giner SQ, Gomez SG, Green M, Anderson S, Horder J, McArdle S, Rees R, Madrigal JA. Avoiding room temperature storage and delayed cryopreservation provide better postthaw potency in hematopoietic progenitor cell grafts. Transfusion. 2013; 53(8):1834-42. doi: 10.1111/trf.12006.
  11. Laversin SA, Phatak VM, Powe DG, Li G, Miles AK, Hughes DC, Ball GR, Ellis IO, Gritzapis AD, Missitzis I, McArdle SE, Rees RC. Identification of novel breast cancer-associated transcripts by UniGene database mining and gene expression analysis in normal and malignant cells. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(3):316-29. doi: 10.1002/gcc.22031.
  12. Phatak VM, Croft SM, Rameshaiah Setty SG, Scarpellini A, Hughes DC, Rees R, McArdle S, Verderio EA. Expression of transglutaminase-2 isoforms in normal human tissues and cancer cell lines: dysregulation of alternative splicing in cancer. Amino Acids. 2013; 44(1):33-44. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1127-4.

Review/Book Chapter Articles

Nagarajan D, McArdle SEB. Immune Landscape of Breast Cancers. Biomedicines. 2018 Feb 11;6(1). pii: E20. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines6010020.

McArdle SE, Pockley AG, Gibson GR, Rees RC. Prostate cancer: Important steps and considerations in the design of therapeutic vaccines. Oncoimmunology. 2014; 3:e28049. eCollection 2014. Impact factor 6.283

Vadakekolathu, J, McArdle S, Miles A, Boocock D J. (2013). Chapter entitled: Identification of tumour antigens for clinical evaluation. Title of book: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, Edited by Robert C. Rees, Oxford University Press.

Grants Held over the past 5 years

Principal Investigator:

Towards the development of a new immunotherapy for the treatment of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)

Funding Body:                 Headcase Cancer Trust

Funding Period:               October 2015 – October 2018

Amount:                         £95,856

Assessing a novel PAP-derived vaccine for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer

Funding Body:                 Vice Chancellor Bursary Nottingham Trent University

Funding Period:               October 2015 – October 2018

Amount:                         £56,767 (Include only tuition fees)

Carnosine supplementation prior to vaccination restores vaccine-induced response in stress-induced inflammation settings: Implications for the efficacy of a cancer vaccine

Funding Body:                 Health and WellBeing Theme, Nottingham Trent University

Funding period:               December 2016-July 2017

Amount:                         £19,0006 months


Genomic, proteomic, functional and therapeutic profiling of primed natural killer (NK) cell populations

Funding Body:                 INMune Bio International Ltd, UK

Funding Period:               May 2016 – July 2018

Amount:                         £268,615

See all of Stéphanie McArdle's publications...

Press expertise

  • Pre-clinical assessment of cancer vaccine
  • Link between the immune system and disease status
  • Clinical monitoring (assessing whether the vaccine has induced an immune response in patients)