Jason Luke, MD, FACP - 2015 Young Investigator Award
"Determination of Tumor-intrinsic Somatic Alterations Associated with the Presence or Absence of a T cell- inflamed Tumor Micro-environment in Human Cancer."
Awarded a $75,000 Young Investigator Award
Immunotherapy is revolutionizing cancer treatment however many patients do not benefit. Our group has proposed a model for understanding which patients will benefit from immunotherapy known as the "T cell- inflamed tumor microenvironment." Our group has also recently defined the first cancer specific molecular change (WNT/β-catenin) that leads to exclusion of immune cells from melanoma. In this research, we will analyze 30 solid tumor cancers by gene expression and exonic DNA sequencing from The Cancer Genome Atlas, looking for molecular pathways associated with immune exclusion in each tumor type. After validating our findings in human cancer specimens we will propose a rationally developed clinical trial of a targeted molecular inhibitor with immunotherapy.
"I owe a great deal to the Cancer Research Foundation for giving me a head start. This financial help made the difference between my getting a fast and successful start, and my other wise struggling to obtain the necessary funds to get my research program started."Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Human Genetics University of Chicago
April 30, 2010