2017 V Foundation Wine Celebration Volunteer Grant in honor of Susan Leick and Joe McCrary
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and is a very complex disease with different cell types that make up each tumor. Immunotherapy is ground-breaking because it is able to cure some patients with late stage tumors. However, the number of patients that have this great response is still low. In this proposal, we will test the combination of a second drug with immunotherapy to increase the likelihood that squamous lung tumors will respond to treatment. To do this, we will use two mouse models of squamous cell carcinoma. These models are ideal for testing immunotherapy because they have intact immune systems and have many features of the human disease. We will test whether the second therapy changes the cell types that make up the tumor, and whether these changes lead to better therapy outcomes. If our results show that the second drug can boost the immunotherapy, we can rapidly transition this work to clinical trials in human lung cancer patients.