Title: Cancer Immunotherapy Beyond Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Speaker: Dr. Hong-Ming Hu
Invited by Dr. Ge Jiang
Time: 15:30, Jan. 15 (Wednesday), 2020
Venue: Room B808 at Y Building
In 2018, James Allison and Tasuku Honjo won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work leading to the development of new type of drugs - immune checkpoint inhibitors that dramatic responses in patients with advanced cancers, including metastatic melanoma, lung cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, head and neck cancers, and others. The fact these new drugs target immune cells rather than tumor cells themselves underscores how the ability to manipulate the human immune system could transform the landscape of cancer treatment. Despite the great success, only a minority of cancer patients achieve durable responses to single single-agent checkpoint blockade. First, many patients whose tumor harbor preexisting antitumor T cells failed to respond because these T cells are either inhibited by immunosuppressive mechanisms within the tumor via PD-1 independent pathways. Second, a larger proportion of patients whose tumors develop but exhibit no obvious priming and expansion of antitumor T cells. Looking beyond the check point blockade, we investigate both old and new strategies that stimulate new adaptive antitumor responses using vaccines, bypass endogenous immunity via adoptive cell therapy, or new strategies to overcome the immune suppression within the tumor microenvironment. I will present published and unpublished data to share our ongoing effort along all three areas.