Dr Leila Khoja BSc, MedSci (Molecular biology), MBchB, MRCP, PhD, CCST (Medical Oncology)

Leila Khoja

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Immunotherapy and Honorary Medical Oncology Consultant

Contact details

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Khoja is an early phase trial physician specialising in the field of immunotherapy, with an interest in drug development. She also treats melanoma as her disease site of interest and has a sub-specialty interest in uveal melanoma. She is a co-module lead on the MSc on clinical trials course.

Dr Khoja was the Immunotherapy Lead for the Birmingham ECMC from 2020 - 2021 and worked as a medical advisor for CRUK, working on the clinical development of specific molecules. 


  • Certificate in human pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, Royal College of Physicians London, 2017
  • PhD in cancer studies; circulating tumour cells in melanoma and pancreatic carcinomas, The University of Manchester, 2013
  • CCT Medical Oncology, The North West Deanery, 2013
  • MRCP, Royal College of Physicians (London), 2005
  • MBchB, University of Glasgow Medical School, 2000
  • BscMedSci (Molecular Biology), University of Glasgow, 1998


Feb 2016-Jan 2019

Associate Director, Physician Experience

AstraZeneca Clinical Discovery Unit (CDU) and the Oncology Therapeutic Unit within the Early Clinical Development unit

Honorary Medical Oncology Consultant (Melanoma)

Addenbrookes Hospital

Use of evidence-based medicine examining existing treatment paradigms and trial evidence to design and write trial protocols for therapeutic agents. Physician accountability on specific live trials. Validating drug targets pre-phase I by working in collaboration with external academic units and internal AZ scientific teams. Worked with discovery science to evaluate the therapeutic potential of new technological advances such CRISPR/CAS 9 gene editing.

Leila also had an honorary consultant contract at Addenbrookes hospital to do clinical work once a week.

Aug 2013-July 2015

Clinical Fellowship, Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Obtained experience in the independent management of melanoma and specifically in immunotherapy. Gained experience in early phase trials; design, conduct and management of patients. Attended the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) basic and advanced immunology course and gained clinical experience in managing patients on phase I-III trials undergoing adoptive cell therapy (ACT) or checkpoint inhibitor therapies.

Authored 2 trial proposals combining ACT and checkpoint inhibitors and novel combinations of targeted agents.


  • Biomarkers in uveal melanoma treatment
  • Drug Development



Rabbie R, Ansari-Pour N, Cast O, Lau D, Scott F. Khoja L … Adams DJ (2020 Aug 27;11(1):4306. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18060-0) Multi-site clonality analysis uncovers pervasive heterogeneity across melanoma metastases. Nature Communications.

Maurice C, Khoja L, Morgan E, Mason WP, Katzberg H, Pereira AM  … Butler M. (2020 May 21;346:577267. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2020.577267) Guillain-Barré Syndrome following a series of novel therapies adapting the gold-standard in the era of immune priming. Journal of Neuroimmunology

Khoja L, Atenafu EG, Suciu S, Leyvraz S, Sato T, Marshall E … Joshua AM. (2019 May 31. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdz176) Meta-Analysis in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma to Determine Progression-Free and Overall Survival Benchmarks: an International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI) Ocular Melanoma study. Annals of Oncology

Nguyen LT, Saibil SD, Sotov V, Le MX, Khoja L, Ghazarian D … Butler MO. (2019 May; 68(5):773-785. doi: 10.1007/s00262-019-02307-x) Phase II clinical trial of adoptive cell therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma with autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and low-dose interleukin-2. Cancer Immunol Immunother.

Mathew N. Nicholas, Leila Khoja, Eshetu G. Atenafu, David Hogg, Ian Quirt, Marcus Butler and Anthony M. Joshua (2018 Dec; DOI: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000468) Prognostic factors for first-line therapy and overall survival of metastatic uveal melanoma: The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre experience.  Melanoma Research

Leila Khoja, Minnie Kibiro, Ur Metser, Craig Gedye, David Hogg, Marcus O. Butler … Anthony M. Joshua (2016 Nov 8; DOI:10.1038/bjc.2016.308) Patterns of Response to Anti-PD1 Treatment: An Exploratory Comparison of Four Radiological Response Criteria and Associations with Overall Survival in Metastatic Melanoma Patients. British Journal of Cancer

Khoja L, Atenafu EG, Templeton AJ, Ye Q, Chappell M, Saibil SD, … Joshua AM (2016 Oct; DOI: 10.1002/cam4.878). The full blood count as a biomarker of outcome and toxicity in ipilimumab treated cutaneous metastatic melanoma. Cancer Medicine

Leila Khoja, Catherine Maurice, MaryAnne Chappell, Leslie MacMillan, Ayman S Al-Habeeb, Nada Al-Faraidy … David Hogg (2016 Mar; DOI: 10.1158/2326-6066). Eosinophilic fasciitis and acute encephalopathy toxicity from pembrolizumab treatment of a patient with metastatic melanoma. Clinical Immunology Research

Leila Khoja, Eshetu G Atenafu, Qian Ye, Craig Gedye, MaryAnne Chappell, David Hogg … Anthony M. Joshua (2016 Feb; DOI: 10.3892/01.2015.4069) Real‑world efficacy, toxicity and clinical management of ipilimumab treatment in metastatic melanoma. Oncology Letters

Khoja L, Butler MO, Chappell MA, Hogg D, Joshua AM.(2015 Aug; DOI: 10.3747/co.22.2418). Increased treatment related toxicity subsequent to an anti-PD1 agent. Current Oncology

Pitcher B, Khoja L, Hamilton RJ, Abdallah K, Pintilie M, Joshua AM (2017, Feb; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0170544). Assessment of Prognostic Models, PSA metrics and toxicities in Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer using Data from Project Data Sphere (PDS). PLOS One.

Raya Leibowitz-Amit, Melania Pintilie, Leila Khoja, Arun A. Azad, Raanan Berger, A. Douglas Laird … Anthony M. Joshua (2016 Jan 13; DOI: 10.1186/s12967-015-0747-y).  Changes in plasma biomarkers following treatment with cabozantinib in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: a post hoc analysis of an extension cohort of a phase II trial. Journal of Translational Medicine

Leibowitz-Amit R, Khoja L, Tannock IF, Joshua AM (2015 May; DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdv039). Choosing a better end point for trials of bone-protective agents. Annals of Oncology

Upper Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary and pancreatic carcinomas

Papaxoinis G, Weaver JMJ, Khoja L, Patrao A, Stamatopoulou S, Alchawaf A, Owen-Holt V, Germetaki T, Kordatou Z, Mansoor W. (2017 May 19:1-9. DOI: 10.1080/0284186X.2017.1328127) Significance of baseline FDG-PET/CT scan as a method of staging regional lymph nodes in patients with operable distal oesophageal or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Acta Oncologica

Gynaecological carcinomas

E. Dean, L. Khoja, A. Clamp, GC. Jayson, D. Goonetilleke, A.M. Conway, J Hasan (2017 Mar; DOI: 10.2217/fon-2016-0431). Malignant bowel obstruction in advanced ovarian cancer. Future Oncology

Khoja L, Horsley L, Heesters A, Machin JD, Mitchell C, Clamp AR, Jayson GC, Hasan J.  (2016 June; DOI: 10.1136/esmoopen-2016-000057) Does Clinical Trial Participation Improve Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer Patients? ESMO Open

Leila Khoja, Katie Nolan, Rasheid Mekki, Andrea Milani, Linda Ashcroft, Jurjees Hasan … Gordon C Jayson (2016 Dec; DOI: 10.1016/j.clon.2016.06.011). Improved Survival from Ovarian Cancer in Patients Treated in Major Regional Cancer Centres in the UK; Evidence from Recent Collaborative Trials. Clinical Oncology (Royal College of Radiologists).

General translational/biomarker papers in oncology

Sung M, Zer A, Walia P, Khoja L, Maganti M, Labbe C … Leighl NB. (2020 May; DOI: 10.21037/jtd.2020.04.30) Correlation of immune-related adverse events and response from immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Journal of Thoracic Disease.

Zer A, Sung MR, Walia P, Khoja L, Maganti M, Labbe C … Leighl NB. (2018 Sep; DOI: 10.1016/j.cllc.2018.04.008). Correlation of Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio and Absolute Neutrophil Count With Outcomes With PD-1 Axis Inhibitors in Patients With Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Clinical Lung Cancer