A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Kortylewski, Marcin, Ph.D. Laboratory Bookmark and Share

Laboratory Overview

We focus our studies on identification of therapeutic targets among signaling molecules which are involved in tumor-promoting inflammation. Our two-step immunotherapeutic strategy is first to disarm tumor defense systems, and then to activate immune attack from within.

Research Interests
Fighting cancer by activating immune system to search and destroy tumor cells with high precision could overcome the problem of serious side-effects observed after conventional cancer treatments. Recent advances in the understanding interactions between tumor and immune system identified that immune cells accumulated within tumor tissue are essential therapeutic targets for cancer immunotherapy. Dysfunctional immune cell populations within the tumor microenvironment secrete growth factors, promote blood vessel formation and disarm the immune system. Targeting immune cells in tumors poses problems due to the lack of specific therapeutics. We previously developed a novel reagent, CpG-siRNA molecules that allow for specific receptor-mediated delivery of the therapeutic agent (siRNA) into certain immune cell populations. We used CpG-siRNAs to block function of tumor-supporting immune cells, thereby generating potent antitumor immune responses in mice. Our recent studies suggest that the same strategy could restore the antitumor immune responses in cancer patients. Moreover, we used CpG-siRNAs to block oncogenic signaling and induce cell death in several types of human blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We currently optimize CpG-siRNAs for use against metastatic tumors and multiple gene targets, what should generate novel, more effective and safer therapeutics, expanding treatment options for the benefit of cancer patients.
 
Contact Information
To request expert commentary on Immunotherapy, contact  Media Relations at 800-888-5323 or media@coh.org.

To reach me or my staff, call (626) 256-4673 ext. 64120.
 
 
 

Lab Members

Kortylewski, Marcin, Ph.D. Laboratory

Laboratory Overview

We focus our studies on identification of therapeutic targets among signaling molecules which are involved in tumor-promoting inflammation. Our two-step immunotherapeutic strategy is first to disarm tumor defense systems, and then to activate immune attack from within.

Research Interests
Fighting cancer by activating immune system to search and destroy tumor cells with high precision could overcome the problem of serious side-effects observed after conventional cancer treatments. Recent advances in the understanding interactions between tumor and immune system identified that immune cells accumulated within tumor tissue are essential therapeutic targets for cancer immunotherapy. Dysfunctional immune cell populations within the tumor microenvironment secrete growth factors, promote blood vessel formation and disarm the immune system. Targeting immune cells in tumors poses problems due to the lack of specific therapeutics. We previously developed a novel reagent, CpG-siRNA molecules that allow for specific receptor-mediated delivery of the therapeutic agent (siRNA) into certain immune cell populations. We used CpG-siRNAs to block function of tumor-supporting immune cells, thereby generating potent antitumor immune responses in mice. Our recent studies suggest that the same strategy could restore the antitumor immune responses in cancer patients. Moreover, we used CpG-siRNAs to block oncogenic signaling and induce cell death in several types of human blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We currently optimize CpG-siRNAs for use against metastatic tumors and multiple gene targets, what should generate novel, more effective and safer therapeutics, expanding treatment options for the benefit of cancer patients.
 
Contact Information
To request expert commentary on Immunotherapy, contact  Media Relations at 800-888-5323 or media@coh.org.

To reach me or my staff, call (626) 256-4673 ext. 64120.
 
 
 

Lab Members

Lab Members

Our Scientists

Our research laboratories are led by the best and brightest minds in scientific research.
 

Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope is internationally  recognized for its innovative biomedical research.
City of Hope is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, the highest designation awarded by the National Cancer Institute to institutions that lead the way in cancer research, treatment, prevention and professional education.
Learn more about City of Hope's institutional distinctions, breakthrough innovations and collaborations.
Develop new therapies, diagnostics and preventions in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
 
Support Our Research
By giving to City of Hope, you support breakthrough discoveries in laboratory research that translate into lifesaving treatments for patients with cancer and other serious diseases.
 
 
 
 
NEWS & UPDATES
  • City of Hope is extending the reach of its lifesaving mission well beyond U.S. borders. To that end, three distinguished City of Hope leaders visited China earlier this year to lay the foundation for the institution’s new International Medicine Program. The program is part of City of Hope’s strategi...
  • A hallmark of cancer is that it doesn’t always limit itself to a primary location. It spreads. Breast cancer and lung cancer in particular are prone to spread, or metastasize, to the brain. Often the brain metastasis isn’t discovered until years after the initial diagnosis, just when patients were beginning to ...
  • Blueberries, cinnamon, baikal scullcap, grape seed extract (and grape skin extract), mushrooms, barberry, pomegranates … all contain compounds with the potential to treat, or prevent, cancer. Scientists at City of Hope have found tantalizing evidence of this potential and are determined to explore it to t...
  • Most women who are treated for breast cancer with a mastectomy do not choose to undergo reconstructive surgery. The reasons for this, according to a recent JAMA Surgery study, vary. Nearly half say they do not want any additional surgery, while nearly 34 percent say breast cancer reconstruction simply isn’t imp...
  • The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. The second top risk factor is getting older. Obviously, these two factors cannot be controlled, which is why all women should be aware of their risk and how to minimize those risks. Many risk factors can be mitigated, and simple changes can lead...
  • All women are at some risk of developing the disease in their lifetimes, but breast cancer, like other cancers, has a disproportionate effect on minorities. Although white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer, African-American women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial and ethni...
  • First, the good news: HIV infections have dropped dramatically over the past 30 years. Doctors, researchers and health officials have made great strides in preventing and treating the disease, turning what was once a death sentence into, for some, a chronic condition. Now, the reality check: HIV is still a worl...
  • Screening for breast cancer has dramatically increased the number of cancers found before they cause symptoms – catching the disease when it is most treatable and curable. Mammograms, however, are not infallible. It’s important to conduct self-exams, and know the signs and symptoms that should be checked by a h...
  • Rob Darakjian was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 19 years old. He began chemotherapy and was in and out of the hospital for four months. After his fourth round of treatment, he received a bone marrow transplantation from an anonymous donor. Today, he’s cancer free.   In his previ...
  • In a single day, former professional triathlete Lisa Birk learned she couldn’t have children and that she had breast cancer. “Where do you go from there?” she asks. For Birk, who swims three miles, runs 10 miles and cycles every day, the answer  ultimately was a decision to take control of her cancer care. Afte...
  • More and more people are surviving cancer, thanks to advanced cancer treatments and screening tools. Today there are nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. But in up to 20 percent of cancer patients, the disease ultimately spreads to their brain. Each year, nearly 170,000 new cases of brain ...
  • Cancer cells are masters of survival. Despite excessive damage to their most basic workings and the constant vigilance of the body’s immune system, they manage to persevere. Much of this extraordinary ability to survive falls under the control of proteins bearing the name STAT, short for signal transducer and a...
  • One person receives the breast cancer diagnosis, but the cancer affects the entire family. Couples, in particular, can find the diagnosis and treatment challenging, especially if they have traditional male/female communication styles. “Though every individual is unique, men and women often respond differently d...
  • Here’s a statistic you’ll hear and read frequently over the next month: One in eight women born in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Although this statement is accurate, based on breast cancer incidence rates in 2013, it’s often misunderstood. Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., d...
  • This time of year, how can anyone not think pink? Through the power of pastel packaging, October has been etched permanently into the American public’s consciousness as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The color pink is now synonymous with breast cancer. Suffice to say, awareness has been raised. Now itR...