Benjamin Tjoa, Chief Scientist

Benjamin TjoaBenjamin Tjoa received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Immunology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Tjoa has held various positions in R&D, product development, and translational research.

As a Senior Scientists at Northwest Biotherapeutics, Dr. Tjoa studied human dendritic cell basic biology, in vitro generation, antigen-loading, maturation, pre-clinical dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine studies, and assay developments. He published over 20 scientific articles and earned two patents.

Before joining Astarte Biologics, Dr. Tjoa also held VP of R&D and Lead Scientist positions at Sangretech Biomedical and Bostwick Therapeutics where he led research teams in the development of “second generation” dendritic cell-based vaccines for solid tumors and conducted process development and qualification for a GMP production of a cellular cancer vaccine for clinical testing.

As one of the first scientists to develop dendritic cells for use in cell-based vaccines, Dr. Tjoa has traveled internationally to set up laboratories for dendritic cell-based therapies.


Murphy G.P.; Boynton A.L.; Tjoa B.A. Isolation and/or preservation of dendritic cells for prostate cancer immunotherapy. Application Number US5788963. Filed July 31, 1995.

Tjoa B.A.; Bosch M.L. Generation of dendritic cells from monocytic dendritic precursor cells with GM-CSF in the absence of additional cytokines. Application Number: US8389278. Filed February 27, 2004.


Generation and analysis of human T cell lines responsive to Glatiramer Acetate. American Academy of Neurology. 2018.

Chemotherapy followed by syngeneic dendritic cell injection in the mouse: findings and implications for human treatment. Urology. 2007.

Dendritic cell based vaccines: progress in immunotherapy studies for prostate cancer. Journal of Urology. 2004.

Higher-dose and less frequent dendritic cell infusions with PSMA peptides in hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer patients. Prostate. 2000.

Use of artificial neural networks in evaluating prognostic factors determining the response to dendritic cells pulsed with PSMA peptides in prostate cancer patients. Prostate. 2000.

Development of dendritic-cell based prostate cancer vaccine. Immunology Letters. 2000.

Progress in active specific immunotherapy of prostate cancer. Seminars in Surgical Oncology. 2000.

Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy for prostate cancer. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 1999.

Phase II prostate cancer vaccine trial: report of a study involving 37 patients with disease recurrence following primary treatment. Prostate. 1999.

Follow-up evaluation of a phase II prostate cancer vaccine trial. Prostate. 1999.

Infusion of dendritic cells pulsed with HLA-A2-specific prostate-specific membrane antigen peptides: a phase II prostate cancer vaccine trial involving patients with hormone-refractory metastatic disease. Prostate. 1999.

GM-CSF as a systemic adjuvant in a phase II prostate cancer vaccine trial. Prostate. 1999.

Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy of prostate cancer. Critical Reviews in Immunology. 1998.

Report of immune monitoring of prostate cancer patients undergoing T-cell therapy using dendritic cells pulsed with HLA-A2-specific peptides from prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Prostate. 1998.

Evaluation of phase I/II clinical trials in prostate cancer with dendritic cells and PSMA peptides. Prostate. 1998.

Follow-up evaluation of prostate cancer patients infused with autologous dendritic cells pulsed with PSMA peptides. Prostate. 1997.

Presentation of prostate tumor antigens by dendritic cells stimulates T-cell proliferation and cytotoxicity. Prostate. 1996.

Measurement of prostate-specific membrane antigen in the serum with a new antibody. Prostate. 1996.

Generation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes to a self-peptide/class I complex: a model for peptide-mediated tumor rejection. Cancer Research. 1994.

Diversity of T cell receptor-alpha chain transcripts from hyperimmune alloreactive T cells. Journal of Immunology. 1992.

Sequence diversity of T cell receptor alpha chain transcripts from BALB/c thymus. Molecular Immunology. 1992.