Lung cancer, particularly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. While PD-1 checkpoint immunotherapy has led to remarkable responses in patients with lung cancer, it still doesn’t work in the majority of cases, largely because the tumor microenvironment can suppress anti-cancer immune activity. The most abundant cells within lung tumors are immune cells called macrophages, and they often engage in immunosuppressive behavior that supports cancer growth.
Dr. Nelson LaMarche’s team recently discovered that two major populations of macrophages contribute to the development of NSCLC in mice and humans. The two macrophage populations perform different functions within lung tumors to suppress the immune system and promote cancer progression. Now, as an inaugural fellow in the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity, LaMarche is working to define how these two populations respond to PD-1 immunotherapy, with the goal of identifying targetable pathways through which these cells could be manipulated in order to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy.
Projects and Grants
Harnessing macrophage ontogeny for non-small cell lung carcinoma immunotherapy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai | Lung Cancer | 2021 | Miriam Merad, M.D., Ph.D.
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