Checkpoint inhibitors that target the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway have helped many patients, but unfortunately they aren’t always effective and we don’t always know why. Therefore, Dr. Tang’s work aims to identify the factors that promote positive responses after anti-PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint immunotherapy. He evaluated tumor models that have similar PD-L1 expression, but respond differently to anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy, and found that infiltration of T cells was associated with elimination of tumors. Additionally, he identified a protein that can enhance the ability of T cells to infiltrate tumors. In tumors that are resistant to checkpoint immunotherapy, the protein can overcome cancer’s immunosuppressive environment and promote responses in combination with checkpoint immunotherapy. These insights provide important information that should aid the development of improved immunotherapies for patients.
Projects and Grants
Tumor-specific LIGHT targeting for cancer immunotherapy
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | Breast Cancer, Melanoma | 2014 | Yang-Xin Fu, M.D., Ph.D.
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