Nick Valvano Translational Research Grant *
Previously, the main treatments for cancer patients were surgery, radiation, and medicines with many unpleasant side-effects. The discovery that there are ways to turn our own defense system against cancer became a medical revolution. In some patients, this new treatment led to miracle cures that had never been seen before. The discovery was so incredible, it won a Nobel prize. Unfortunately, this new treatment does not work in as many patients as we would like. It is still a mystery why two people with the same cancer will respond differently to treatment, one patient might be cured and the other patient does not get better. This project is trying to figure out ways that will help doctors know who will be cured and who will not get better with this new treatment. We are developing a blood test to predict who will be cured before treatment begins. For those patients that are not likely to be cured, we are doing experiments to develop a medicine that can be added to the treatment in order to make the treatment cure many more patients.