The role of the immune system is to protect the body from harmful pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and tumors. After identifying cancer cells, T cells can take action and destroy these cells. Some of the most successful immunotherapies today are the checkpoint inhibitors that target the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway on T cells. These treatments allow the T cells to stay active and more efficiently eliminate tumor cells, and are widely used to treat multiple types of cancers. However, only a fraction of patients experiences clinical benefit from current immunotherapies, and thus there is an urgent need to develop therapeutics that more effectively target the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway as well as other inhibitory checkpoints.
With that goal in mind, Dr. Mor is developing a novel technology named PMSPA—which stands for Phosphoproteomic Mass Spectrometry combined with in-silico Prediction Algorithm—to identify additional checkpoints that, like PD-1, regulate the functions of the immune system. These pathways could then provide targets for novel immunotherapies that could help patients who don’t respond to PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies. Overall, this PMSPA technology will help identify novel drug targets to improve clinical response and overall survival among patients treated with current checkpoint immunotherapies.
Projects and Grants
Novel technology to discover targetable kinases to enhance checkpoints inhibition
Columbia University Medical Center | All Cancers | 2020
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