Grants - Translational Grants - Maryland - 2017

Valsamo Anagnostou, Ph.D., M.D.

Immune targeted therapies, which stimulate the immune system to attach cancer have revolutionized
cancer treatment strategies. These successes have offered new therapeutic avenues for cancer patients,
especially for those with lung cancer. Despite the impressive clinical efficacy and duration of responses
observed, the fraction of patients with durable responses remains in the order of 20% and there is
therefore an unmet need to maximize efficacy of these treatments as well as identify the patients more
likely to respond. We propose to use clinical samples from 2 novel clinical trials that combine immune
targeted therapy with a different class of medicines, called epigenetic therapy. We have shown that
epigenetic therapy may attract immune cells to the cancer site therefore “priming” an anti-tumor immune response. We propose to pinpoint the mechanisms that mediate response and resistance to these therapies by looking at the genetic make-up of cancer cells as well as by studying the tumor microenvironment. We believe our comprehensive, cutting-edge scientific approach linked with ongoing or soon to start clinical trials will result in immediate clinical intervention initiatives and is consistent with our mission to deliver improved treatments to patients with lung cancer.

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