A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Immunotherapeutics (CI) Program Bookmark and Share

Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program

Peter P. Lee, M.D., Co-leader
Hua Yu, Ph.D., Co-leader
Program Members -If you would like an updated membership list, please contact Kim Lu at kilu@coh.org.
 
The Cancer Immunotherapeutics (CI) Program is focused on discovery and application to clinical practice of efficacious and minimally toxic immunotherapeutic interventions for cancer. The long-term goal of the CI Program is to develop insights made by tumor immunologists into novel therapeutic approaches in preclinical model systems, which are then taken through rigorous process development to yield therapeutics of sufficient quality for use in human clinical trials.
 
CI has established a robust support team comprising the regulatory, cGMP manufacturing and clinical trials infrastructure to conduct first-in-human clinical exploration under Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized investigational new drugs (INDs). We established the Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory for the purpose of generating data from treated patients and, using validated assay platforms, informing our translational and basic scientists of clinically relevant immunobiology that impacts therapeutic efficacy and safety.
 
CI has three major components: (i) basic tumor immunology, (ii) antibody-based immunotherapeutics and (iii) cell-based immunotherapeutics. Program research spans understanding basic principles of immunologic escape by tumors, engineering of antibodies and antibody fragments for radioimmunotherapy, imaging and the derivation of immunocytokines, use of viral vectors for tumor vaccines and genetic engineering of T cell s for adoptive immunotherapy.
 
INDs and Clinical Protocols
  • The CI Program's growing portfolio of active FDA INDs covers a variety of genetic engineering products, recombinant antibody proteins and genetically modified cells.
  • FDA-authorized clinical protocols cover a growing number of patient populations, including those with CEA-expressing carcinomas (colorectal and breast), prostate cancer, glioma, lymphoma and childhood neuroblastoma.
  • In the next few years, additional protocols for lung cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemias and pediatric embryonal brain tumors will be added, and multimodality immunotherapy protocols will commence.
 
Program Goals
  • Develop and improve lymphocyte genetic engineering and adoptive T cell transfer-based immunotherapy for oncologic disease
  • Develop molecularly-targeted therapies to overcome tumor-induced immune suppression, thereby enhancing the efficacies of cell- and antibody-based immunotherapeutic modalities
  • Develop novel antibody-based therapeutics for imaging and treatment of both solid tumors and hematopoietic malignancies
 
CI Members' Research
Members of the CI Program have expertise in the specialized areas of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology. Of particular interest to this program are the fields of antibody-based radioimmunotherapy, cell- and vaccine-based immunotherapeutics, immunopharmacologic drugs, signaling between tumor and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment, tumor-induced immune suppression, and phase I and II clinical trials. Knowledge gained from these studies is applied toward development of innovative, multimodality cancer therapeutics to enhance immune responses against tumor cells.
 

Immunotherapeutics (CI) Program

Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program

Peter P. Lee, M.D., Co-leader
Hua Yu, Ph.D., Co-leader
Program Members -If you would like an updated membership list, please contact Kim Lu at kilu@coh.org.
 
The Cancer Immunotherapeutics (CI) Program is focused on discovery and application to clinical practice of efficacious and minimally toxic immunotherapeutic interventions for cancer. The long-term goal of the CI Program is to develop insights made by tumor immunologists into novel therapeutic approaches in preclinical model systems, which are then taken through rigorous process development to yield therapeutics of sufficient quality for use in human clinical trials.
 
CI has established a robust support team comprising the regulatory, cGMP manufacturing and clinical trials infrastructure to conduct first-in-human clinical exploration under Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized investigational new drugs (INDs). We established the Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory for the purpose of generating data from treated patients and, using validated assay platforms, informing our translational and basic scientists of clinically relevant immunobiology that impacts therapeutic efficacy and safety.
 
CI has three major components: (i) basic tumor immunology, (ii) antibody-based immunotherapeutics and (iii) cell-based immunotherapeutics. Program research spans understanding basic principles of immunologic escape by tumors, engineering of antibodies and antibody fragments for radioimmunotherapy, imaging and the derivation of immunocytokines, use of viral vectors for tumor vaccines and genetic engineering of T cell s for adoptive immunotherapy.
 
INDs and Clinical Protocols
  • The CI Program's growing portfolio of active FDA INDs covers a variety of genetic engineering products, recombinant antibody proteins and genetically modified cells.
  • FDA-authorized clinical protocols cover a growing number of patient populations, including those with CEA-expressing carcinomas (colorectal and breast), prostate cancer, glioma, lymphoma and childhood neuroblastoma.
  • In the next few years, additional protocols for lung cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemias and pediatric embryonal brain tumors will be added, and multimodality immunotherapy protocols will commence.
 
Program Goals
  • Develop and improve lymphocyte genetic engineering and adoptive T cell transfer-based immunotherapy for oncologic disease
  • Develop molecularly-targeted therapies to overcome tumor-induced immune suppression, thereby enhancing the efficacies of cell- and antibody-based immunotherapeutic modalities
  • Develop novel antibody-based therapeutics for imaging and treatment of both solid tumors and hematopoietic malignancies
 
CI Members' Research
Members of the CI Program have expertise in the specialized areas of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology. Of particular interest to this program are the fields of antibody-based radioimmunotherapy, cell- and vaccine-based immunotherapeutics, immunopharmacologic drugs, signaling between tumor and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment, tumor-induced immune suppression, and phase I and II clinical trials. Knowledge gained from these studies is applied toward development of innovative, multimodality cancer therapeutics to enhance immune responses against tumor cells.
 
Research Shared Services

City of Hope embodies the spirit of scientific collaboration by sharing services and core facilities with colleagues here and around the world.
 

Clinical Trials
Our aggressive pursuit to discover better ways to help patients now – not years from now – places us among the leaders worldwide in the administration of clinical trials.
 
Learn more about City of Hope's institutional distinctions, breakthrough innovations and collaborations.
Discover the wide range of progressive cancer treatment options at City of Hope designed to meet the individual needs of each patient. Here, medical research and clinical care are integrated, speeding the application of scientific discoveries toward better, more effective patient cancer treatments.
City of Hope Breakthroughs
Get the latest in City of Hope's research, treatment and news you can use on our blog, Breakthroughs.
 
 
When you support City of Hope, you help us shorten the time it takes to get from bold, innovative ideas to powerful new medical treatments. Make a gift online now.


NEWS & UPDATES
  • As far back as he can remember, Jonathan Yamzon, M.D., wanted to be a doctor. “I knew it from the get-go,” he said, matter-of-factly. “I always envisioned it as the ideal; the supreme thing one could do with one’s life.” The youngest of six children, Yamzon was barely a toddler when his family moved to [&...
  • There’s never a “good” time for cancer to strike. With testicular cancer, the timing can seem particularly unfair. This disease targets young adults in the prime of life; otherwise healthy people unaccustomed to any serious illness, let alone cancer. And suddenly … “I can only imagine what they must...
  • Sure, a healthy lifestyle can lower a person’s risk, but the impact of specific actions is harder to tease out. Diet, exercise, tobacco use, nutritional supplements, alcohol consumption … How important are each of these factors, individually? Does strict adherence to (or rejection of) one get you a pass o...
  • Health care decisions are tough. They’re even tougher when you – or loved ones – have to make them without a plan or a conversation. National Healthcare Decisions Day, on April 16,  is a nationwide initiative to demystify the health care decision-making process and encourage families to start talking. Ult...
  • The statistics, direct from the American Cancer Society, are sobering: Cancer death rates among African-American men are 27 percent higher than for white men. The death rate for African-American women is 11 percent higher compared to white women. Hispanics have higher rates of cervical, liver and stomach cancer...
  • “Lucky” is not usually a term used to describe someone diagnosed with cancer.  But that’s how 34-year-old Alex Camargo’s doctor described him when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer — the disease is one of the most treatable cancers at all stages. That doctor was ultimately proved righ...
  • Geoff Berman, 61, starts his day with the motto: “The sun is up. I’m vertical. It’s a good day.” Ever since he’s been in remission from lymphoma, Berman makes a special point of being grateful for each day, reminding himself that being alive is a gift. “I just enjoy living,” he said. “I give e...
  • Neural stem cells have a natural ability to seek out cancer cells in the brain. Recent research from the laboratories of Michael Barish, Ph.D., and Karen Aboody, M.D., may offer a new explanation for this attraction between stem cells and tumors. Prior to joining City of Hope, Aboody, now a professor in the Dep...
  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology, a group that includes more than 40,000 cancer specialists around the country, recently issued a list of the five most profound cancer advances over the past five decades. Near the top of the list was the introduction of chemotherapy for testicular cancer. To many in th...
  • “The dying, as a group, have been horribly underserved.” So says Bonnie Freeman, R.N., D.N.P., A.N.P.-B.C., A.C.H.P.N., a nurse practitioner in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope. After nearly 25 years, primarily in critical care nursing, Freeman saw that the needs of the dying were ofte...
  • “Are we the only ones who feel this way?” Courtney Bitz, L.C.S.W., a social worker in the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at City of Hope, often hears this question from couples trying to cope with a breast cancer diagnosis and still keep their relationship strong. The ques...
  • Diabetes investigators at City of Hope are studying the full trajectory of diabetes and metabolic disorders, as well as complications of the disease. One especially promising approach focuses on proteins known as growth factors. Led by Fouad Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of Clinica...
  • Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common form of acute leukemia among adults, accounting for 18,000 diagnoses in 2014. Two decades ago, in 1996, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) published its first guidelines for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. Margaret O’Donnell, M.D., assoc...
  • Children diagnosed with cancer are more likely than ever before to survive the disease, but with a potential new set of health problems caused by the cancer treatment itself. Those problems can particularly affect the heart, and as doctors and other health care workers try to assess how best to care for this sp...
  • Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S., has an office next to my own, and we often see patients at the same time. As such, I’ve gotten to know her quite well over the years, and I’ve also gotten a glimpse of many of her patients. She specializes in lung cancer, and most of her patients have tumors […]