Brain cancer is notoriously resistant to current immunotherapies, partially due to the “immune privilege” granted by the blood-brain barrier, but perhaps even more so due to unique tumor mircoenvironments that can hinder immune responses.
To address this, Dr. Fecci is examining how brain tumors, and the intracranial environment in general, promote T cell dysfunction and prevent effective immunity. Specifically, he seeks to systematically categorize tumor-induced immune dysfunction, as well as understand the role of tumor heterogeneity in hindering immunotherapy responses.
By uncovering ways to subvert the tumor-induced immunologic vacuum into which therapies—including both checkpoint immunotherapies and CAR T cells—are delivered, he hopes to discover insights into how we might improve immune cell access and anti-cancer activity within the brain. Ultimately, he hopes to translate this knowledge of tumor immune evasion mechanisms into the design of novel, rational, and successful cancer immunotherapies.
Projects and Grants
Removing barriers to immunotherapy against tumors within the intracranial compartment
Duke University | Brain Cancer | 2021
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