CRI Funded Scientists

Cassian Yee, MD, CRI-Chordoma Foundation CLIP Investigator

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Area of Research: Sarcoma

Patients with advanced chordoma, a type of sarcoma, have few therapeutic options and immunotherapies have largely been ineffective due in part to the absence of T cells that recognize tumor targets. One solution to this challenge is to generate chordoma-killing T cells in the lab, grow these to large numbers, and infuse them into patients. However, there are very few, if any, immune targets known for chordoma.

Dr. Yee has developed a strategy to identify these immunogenic targets by directly examining the protein fragments presented on the surface of chordoma cells. This will enable him to generate chordoma-reactive T cells in the lab and thereby validate these immune targets for adoptive cellular therapy. Dr. Yee brings together a team of individuals with highly specialized expertise in identification of immune targets, including a computational biologist, an experienced sarcoma clinician, and a T cell laboratory that over the last 20 years has developed a unique platform for validating these immune targets and taking them into the clinic in the form adoptive cell therapy.

Projects and Grants

Identification of TCR Targets for Chordoma

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center | Sarcoma | 2020

Immunologic checkpoint blockade and adoptive cell transfer in cancer therapy

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center | All Cancers, Kidney Cancer, Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Prostate Cancer | 2013

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