CRI Funded Scientists

Paul Stewart, PhD, Technology Impact Award Grantee

Moffitt Cancer Center

Lung cancer continues to lead all causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. In recent years, new therapy options for the treatment of advanced lung cancer have been realized through better understanding of its molecular underpinnings. However, advances in new treatments of lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) have resulted in little benefit to patients. Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) is a relatively new cancer treatment that prevents an “off” signal from being sent to immune cells; this allows a patient’s own immune system to better fight cancer. ICB has emerged as first- or second-line treatment for many patients with LSCC. Although ICB can be remarkably effective, not all LSCC patients respond to these treatments. Additional studies are desperately needed to understand why some patients benefit from ICB, while others do not. Dr. Stewart proposes new molecular approaches for studying study clusters of immune cells (lymphoid structures) found inside LSCC tumors that restrict cancer progression and contribute to longer patient survival. To identify new immunotherapy targets, Dr. Stewart will develop approaches for examining whether immune B cells found in these lymphoid structures create antitumor antibodies, which promote tumor killing. These technology advancements will help develop early detection biomarkers and find new ways to more effectively direct the immune system to attack lung cancer.

Projects and Grants

Innovative proteogenomics to investigate tertiary lymphoid structures in lung cancer

Moffitt Cancer Center | Lung Cancer | 2022

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