George Weiner, MD

Anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are a type of treatment for cancer that has helped many patients but they do not work for everyone. The overall goal of our research is to make mAbs better cancer treatments. MAbs stick to cancer cells and attract cells of the immune system known as Natural Killer cells (NK cells) that then kill the mAb-coated cancer cells.  We have found that NK cells start to kill mAb-coated cancer cells, but stop killing cancer cells unless they get help from a different type of immune system cell known as T cells.  This suggests one reason mAb might not work for some patients is a lack of help from T cells.  We also found that a different type of antibody known as a bispecific antibody (bsAb) can increase the help T cells provide to NK cells. This suggests the combination of bsAb to mAb could be a better treatment for some cancers.  In this project, we will conduct studies in both mouse models and in samples obtained from patients to evaluate the role of T cell help in anti-cancer mAb therapy and determine whether giving mAb and bsAb together is a better approach to cancer therapy. Our studies are focused on lymphoma, but the results could result in improved mAb therapy for a variety of cancers.

Location: Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center - Iowa City
Proposal: T cell help and resistance to anti-cancer monoclonal antibody therapy
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