T cells bearing a new engineered protein boost immunotherapy’s effectiveness in laboratory models of AML, ovarian, pancreatic cancers
April 16, 2018
| By Rachel Tompa / Fred Hutch News Service
In an effort to improve the efficacy of immunotherapy for solid tumors, Fred Hutch researchers have engineered a new type of protein that can rewire a 'kill switch' to stimulate T cells' activity instead.
Fred Hutch Pancreatic cancer researcher Dr. Sunil Hingorani has won a three-year, $1.8 million grant from the federal Cancer Moonshot program, the signature initiative of former Vice President Joseph Biden. Hingorani is one of six collaborators nationwide who received funding this fall for a new research consortium focused on the biological context of pancreatic tumors — such as nearby immune cells or blood vessels — which can have a major impact on a tumor’s vulnerability to treatment.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center bioengineer and cancer researcher Dr. Cyrus Ghajar has focused much of his work on what causes breast cancer cells to metastasize. Now, with the help of a new $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, Ghajar and his team are hoping to crack open a mystery that has long puzzled scientists in the field: Why do metastatic cells, which can proliferate in many organs, nearly always fail to grow in skeletal muscles, which account for as much as half the body mass of an adult?