Cancer treatment is undergoing a revolution with the use of checkpoint immunotherapies. These treatments don’t target the cancer cells themselves, but rather re-invigorate the cells of the immune system to fight and eliminate tumors. However, this isn’t a simple task, as tumors have tricks to defend themselves against these re-activated, “dormant” immune cells, and as a result, these treatments still don’t work for the majority of patients. In addition, it is becoming clearer that many of the immune cells inside tumors can actually protect tumors by suppressing the T cells that target and eliminate cancer cells.
Therefore, Dr. Yofe’s research aims to use the latest technology to profile each and every cell within the tumor individually, in order to dissect the most subtle features and immune cell interactions found in each patient’s tumor, and understand how immunotherapy treatment alters them. His vision is to create a model for optimized cancer treatments based on specific immune cell populations. Ultimately, Yofe’s work may pave the way for strategies that enable each patient’s tumor to be examined at the single-cell level, and then enable doctors to tailor treatment combinations to individual patients based on their specific tumor’s composition.
Projects and Grants
Single-cell analysis of the tumor-immune ecosystem in human cancers
Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) | All Cancers | 2019 | Ido Amit, Ph.D.
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