A Healthier Wisconsin

Integrated Program in Immuno-Oncology

Establishing a translational clinical and preclinical research program in immuno-oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Integrated Program in Immuno-OncologyPrincipal Investigator:Gustavo W. Leone, Phd, Cancer CenterCo-Investigator:Michael B. Dwinell, PhD, Microbiolgy & Immunology; James P. Thomas, MD, PhD, Hematology & OncologyAward Amount:$5,600,000
Award Date
Project Duration:84 Months

Project Description Narrative:

A body's immune system is essential to survival, allowing it to fight foreign agents such as viruses or bacteria that pose a threat to health. A cancer diagnosis means that malignant cancer cells have developed, and that an individual's underlying immune system has failed to eliminate those cells.

Over the last decade, scientific advances have found that aspects of the immune system could be used to enhance immune cell’s ability to fight cancer. These immunotherapies encompass a number of strategies to enhance a patient's immune system. While significant advances have been made to develop effective immunotherapies for cancer patients, there are critical gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed in order to effectively manipulate immune cells to fight cancer.

Through this award, investigators at the Medical College of Wisconsin will develop a translational clinical and preclinical research program in cancer immunotherapy to support further research, clinical trials, and training of the next generation of physicians and scientists in delivery immunotherapy in patients.

Project Updates:

  • Supported two basic science projects, through which one project found two novel methods of preventing and reversing chronic Graft Versus Host Disease in stem cell transplant recipients and the other project made progress toward optimizing CAR-T cell manufacturing
  • Supported a postdoctoral study that made significant discoveries regarding a protein coding gene involved in ovarian cancer
  • Supported two predoctoral projects, through which on project revealed a potential cause of disease relapse in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma patients who have received CAR-T cell therapy and the other project compared outcomes for mice with two different mutations of a protein coding gene and found striking differences in the overall health of the mice
  • Disseminated project efforts through nine published manuscripts

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