Researchers in the Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance program use a range
of techniques to study how the immune system influences tumorigenesis and cancer therapy.
The immune system can inhibit or promote tumor progression in local tissues where
pre-malignancies form. Major program themes are to elucidate
- How pre-malignancies create and sustain local immunologic tolerance necessary for
- How to destroy local tolerance that protects tumors from natural and vaccine-induced
The scientific rationale for this dual approach is that pre-malignant cells create
and sustain tolerance during tumor progression, while breaking tumor-associated tolerance
is necessary for successful anti-tumor treatment. Hence, program goals are to elucidate
molecular and cellular pathways at sites of inflammation that promote or break immune
tolerance using pre-clinical mouse models of tumor progression and autoimmune syndromes,
and developing novel immunotherapies to treat these syndromes more effectively by
targeting tolerance pathways. To this end, program faculty also engage in promoting
pre-clinical research and early-phase clinical trials of novel vaccine adjuvants to
improve cancer immunotherapy, in some cases with corporate partners.
To pursue these focused research themes and scientific goals, program faculty employ
many state-of-the-art techniques, facilities, and unique resources, including flow
cytometric sorting and analysis, a range of molecular imaging techniques, genomic
analysis, and genetically modified mouse strains. Future program development will
build on existing CIT program strengths by recruiting new investigators with expertise
in inflammation, immunological, and metabolic research to complement current research
focused on regulation of adaptive immunity.
Cancer Research News
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