Peter A. Savage, Ph.D. - 2009 Young Investigator Award
Development and Function of Tumor-associated Regulatory T cells
Awarded a $75,000 2009 Young Investigator Award
A long-standing goal in the field of tumor immunology and immunotherapy is to stimulate the immune system to attack and eliminate cancer cells. A prime suspect thought to limit immune system responses to cancer is a class of white blood cells called regulatory T cells (T-regs) as they have the unique ability to inhibit many arms of the immune response. It is thought that modulation or elimination of these inhibitory T-regs in the tumor environment would enhance therapies aimed at eliciting effective anti-tumor immune responses. Despite recent advances in our understanding of T-reg biology, many fundamental questions remain unsolved. To address these and other important questions we have been studying regulatory T cells in mice that spontaneously develop prostate cancer. In recent work, we have identified a population of T-regs bearing a unique T cell antigen receptor (TCR) that consistently infiltrate prostate tumors. We will study the development and function of this tumor-associated T-reg population, identify and characterize the unknown antigen recognized by these cells, and study now tumor-associated T-regs function in the tumor microenvironment to modulated cancer development and inhibit anti-tumor immune responses.
The Cancer Research Foundation has focused attention on cancer and raised money for life-giving research. We...pay tribute to the scientists who have dedicated themselves to finding a cure and to meet the young researchers who are the next generation of fighters against this disease. The message we send today is that those who suffer from cancer are not alone and that together we can work toward a solution."Richard M. Daley
Mayor, City of Chicago
May 20, 1997