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Cancer Vaccines: Training the Immune System to See Cancer

Just like each patient, each cancer is unique. While patients have traditionally been treated in a one-size-fits-all manner, doctors’ ability to treat patients in a personalized manner that’s most likely to benefit them has improved significantly in the past several years.

One of the most promising personalized immunotherapy approaches currently being explored in the clinic is cancer vaccines. These vaccines—especially patient-tailored versions known as neoantigen vaccines—are capable of educating patients’ immune systems about what their individual tumors “look like,” and in turn, have the potential to improve the immune system’s ability to target and eliminate cancer.

In this webinar for patients and caregivers, Gavin Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., of the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis, will provide an in-depth discussion of these cancer vaccines focusing on topics including but not limited to: how they’re made, how they’re being used today, and how advances currently being explored might soon make them even more beneficial for cancer patients.
 
Dr. Dunn is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery, and a member of the Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs at the Siteman Cancer Center at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is also currently a CRI-funded CLIP Investigator.

As both a practicing oncologist and the head of a research laboratory, Dr. Dunn is devoted to helping patients with malignant brain cancer, especially glioma. On the clinical side, Dr. Dunn is heavily involved in ongoing clinical trial efforts that are evaluating novel immunotherapies, including vaccines, for brain cancer patients. To complement his clinical efforts, the work being done in Dr. Dunn’s laboratory—currently supported in part by a Cancer Research Institute CLIP grant—aims to provide a better understanding of the genetics of brain cancers and how they interact with the immune system, in order to enhance the effectiveness of vaccine strategies. Ultimately, his goal is to leverage this knowledge to develop and refine novel immunotherapy approaches that can help improve survival for patients with this hard-to-treat cancer type.

The "Cancer Immunotherapy and You" webinar series is produced by the Cancer Research Institute and is hosted by our science writer, Arthur Brodsky, Ph.D. The series is made possible with generous support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, with additional support from Regeneron, Sanofi Genzyme, and Adaptimmune.

Browse our Cancer Immunotherapy and You Webinar Series playlist on YouTube or visit the Webinars page on our website to see other webinars in this series.

2018 Cancer Immunotherapy and You Webinar Series Sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi Genzyme, Regeneron, Adaptimmune

*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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