Checkpoint immunotherapies, especially those that target the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, have been successful in several different types of cancer. To enable them to help even more patients, Ignacio Melero, M.D., Ph.D., is investigating how this pathway works. Specifically, he’s characterizing how immune cells called dendritic cells (DCs) are involved. Dendritic cells are crucial for anti-tumor immune responses because they teach T cells how to target and kill tumor cells specifically. These cells can also express the PD-L1 protein that may interact with T cells to make them less efficient in killing tumor cells. Therefore, Dr. Melero aims to improve our understanding of how exactly these dendritic cells affect T cell activation, which could have far reaching consequences for cancer immunotherapy and future immunotherapy combination strategies.
Projects and Grants
Functional expression of PD-L1 on professional cross-priming dendritic cells
Foundation for Applied Medical Research (FIMA) (Spain) | All Cancers, Colorectal Cancer, Melanoma | 2017
CD137 (4-1BB) costimulation of CD8+ T cells is more potent when provided in cis than in trans with respect to CD3-TCR stimulation
Itziar Otano et al | Nature Communications | 2021 | DOI
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