Checkpoint immunotherapies have helped many patients by enabling their immune cells to stay active against cancer. Checkpoint immunotherapies can sometimes reinvigorate “exhausted” cells, but not always. Dr. Abdel Hakeem wants to understand what controls this exhaustion, specifically at the epigenetic level (where genes are turned on/off). Using a viral model called LCMV, he’s exploring epigenetic patterns associated with exhaustion that might suggest other ways to prevent and reverse it. These strategies might also work well with current checkpoint therapies and help provide patients with even better outcomes.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine | All Cancers, Lung Cancer, Melanoma | 2016 | E. John Wherry, Ph.D.
*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.
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