Michael A. Curran, Ph.D., CLIP InvestigatorThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

By understanding and reversing the mechanisms by which solid tumors exclude T cells and resist immunotherapy, we hope to create a future free from the spectre of incurable cancer.
Area of Research: Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer, All Cancers

Some tumors maintain environments that suppress anti-cancer T cells and protect them against checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. To help devise ways to overcome this resistance, Dr. Curran is investigating the role that low oxygen conditions―known as hypoxia―play in preventing effective immune responses in these hard-to-treat cancers, including prostate cancer. He’s characterizing how hypoxia affects the activity of both anti-cancer T cells and pro-cancer immune cells, as well as how disrupting this hypoxia affects the immune system’s ability to eliminate cancer, both alone and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. These insights should provide a promising path forward for identifying and developing immunotherapy approaches for prostate tumors and other tough-to-treat cancers.

Projects and Grants

Hypoxia drives tumor immune suppression and immunotherapy resistance

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center | All Cancers, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer | 2016

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