Checkpoint blockade immunotherapies, which help reinvigorate and keep anti-cancer T cells active, have improved survival in patients with many different types of cancer. However, not all patients respond to these treatments because tumors can suppress immune responses in multiple ways. To improve immunotherapy for these patients, Dr. Cartwright has developed a method to quickly identify promising targets that could be combined with checkpoints for added benefit.
He’s treating melanoma-bearing mice with checkpoints and then looking at which genes are associated with, and might be responsible for, inhibiting anti-cancer T cells. This will enable fast and cost-effective identification of therapeutically promising targets―across the entire genome―that could be used in combination with checkpoint immunotherapies to enhance responses in patients.
The understanding of both cancer cells and our immune system will propel the next generation of treatments for cancer. It is extremely exciting at the cusp of this revolution, not only as a scientist, but as an integral part of the discovery process.
Projects and Grants
Systematic discovery of combination immunotherapy targets
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | All Cancers, Melanoma | 2016 | Kai W. Wucherpfennig, M.D., Ph.D.
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