why is immunotherapy ineffective in bladder cancer

Modern immunotherapies in bladder cancer work through blocking “checkpoints”, which are negative regulators of the immune response against cancer. However, only a minority of patients respond, and efficacy depends on the presence preexisting, but suppressed, anti-tumor immune response. This project aims to enhance efficacy of immunotherapies in bladder cancer through stimulating the development of an innate anti- tumor immune response.

Laboratory mouse models will be used to study the effects of innate immune activation in bladder cancer, with a goal of developing new therapeutic strategies to improve responses to immunotherapy.