Dr Adel Samson

Dr Adel Samson


I lead the Translational Cancer Immunotherapy Group. My research group focuses on harnessing the immune system to treat solid malignancies, optimising the efficacy and delivery of immunotherapies to tumours, and understanding the immunological effects of cancer therapies. My research spans multiple key steps in immunotherapy development, including pre-clinical laboratory conceptualisation and optimisation, early phase clinical trials, and the analysis of clinical trial samples.

I studied medicine and intercalated in Genetics at the University of Leeds. Upon graduation, I undertook an Academic Oncology Foundation Programme and Core Medical Training in Yorkshire. I was then awarded an Academic Clinical Fellowship to train in Medical Oncology. My CRUK-funded PhD was in ‘Causative and Therapeutic Viruses in Liver Cancer’. Post-PhD, I continued my research as an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer, alongside the completion of clinical training in Medical Oncology. I am now a University Academic Fellow and an honorary Medical Oncologist, specialising in hepatocellular carcinoma and translational immunotherapies.

Research interests

Current Pre-clinical/Translational Laboratory Projects

  1. Rationally designed oncolytic virus-based immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma.
  2. A comparison of the immunophenotypic and functional immunological differences between one versus multiple infusions of oncolytic reovirus in patients.
  3. Oncolytic virus immunotherapies for HPV-associated cancers.
  4. Combination UV-reovirus and sorafenib for hepatocellular carcinoma (joint with Dr Griffin).
  5. A novel cell line model of endogenous hepatitis C virus (lead Dr Griffin).
  6. Cellular targets for therapy in Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers (lead Dr Macdonald).

Translational Clinical Trials

  1. A clinical study to evaluate the biological effects of preoperative intravenous administration of HSV-1716 in patients prior to surgical resection of high-grade brain tumours (in set-up).
  2. An observational study to assess the effects of sorafenib on the hepatitis C virus in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (ongoing).
  3. A clinical study to evaluate the biological effects of pre-operative intravenous administration of JX-594 (thymidine kinase-deactivated Vaccinia virus plus GM-CSF) prior to planned surgical resection of locally advanced/poor prognosis or metastatic cancers (in follow-up).
  4. A clinical study to evaluate the biological effects of preoperative intravenous administration of wild-type reovirus (REOLYSIN®) in patients prior to surgical resection of recurrent high grade primary or metastatic brain tumours (completed).


  • MBChB (honours)
  • BSc Genetics (1st, honours)
  • PhD
  • MRCP (Medical Oncology)

Professional memberships

  • Royal College of Physicians
  • European Association for the Study of the Liver
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology

Student education

Student Supervision

  1. Primary supervisor for 2 clinical academic fellows and co-supervisor for 1 PhD student, 2017 to present.
  2. Primary supervisor for 2 MSc students, both of whom passed with distinctions, and an ERASMUS student, 2017-2018.
  3. Co-supervisor for a laboratory summer intern, and an Academic Foundation Programme doctor, 2014-2015.


  1. Annual lecture for MSc students, Immunity and Disease module.
  2. Annual lecture for FRCR part 1 course; Tumour Immunology.
  3. Regular group and seminar teaching in oncology for medical students.
  4. OSCE examiner for 4th-year medical students.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Brain Cancer Research Group
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/389-killing-cancer-using-dead-viruse">Killing Cancer using Dead Viruse</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/584-mrc-dimen-doctoral-training-partnership:-individualised-heteroclitic-peptide-immunotherapies-for-hepatocellular-carcinoma">MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership: Individualised heteroclitic peptide immunotherapies for hepatocellular carcinoma</a></li>