Viruses can cause several types of cancers by inserting their genes into our cells. Normally, when inappropriate genetic material (DNA or RNA) is detected, it stimulates an immune response to defend us. Unsurprisingly, defects in these sensing pathways are associated with an increased risk of cancer, so Dr. Clingan is investigating how these pathways―specifically the OAS-RNase L pathway―enhance or dampen the immune response. These insights could be used to design approaches that enhance anti-viral activity and complement other immunotherapy strategies to prevent and/or treat cancer.
As we come to a greater understanding of more mature fields, and new fields within immunology open up, I think there will be a myriad of ways to attack cancer and fine-tune the immune system to achieve the greatest benefit, with the least side effects.
Projects and Grants
Integration of transcriptional and translational control of the antiviral response
University of Washington | All Cancers, Prostate Cancer | 2014 | Daniel B. Stetson, Ph.D.
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