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Immunologic Approaches to Ovarian Cancer

David R Spriggs

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
In less than a year ago, Science magazine identified Cancer Immunotherapy as the "Breakthrough of the Year". In this short editorial, Dr Couzin-Frankel discusses some of the key developments in Cancer Immunotherapeutics, including the discovery and development of ipilumumab (anti-CTLA-4), nivolomab (anti- PD-1). MSKCC has been a part of the development of both agents through leaders including Lloyd Old, James Allison, and Jedd Wolchok. Dr. Couzin-Frankel also mentions the advent of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy and refers to MSKCC's report of anti-leukemia therapy in 2013 American Society of Hematology, led by our investigators Renier Brentjens, Michel Sadelain and others. In the next issue of Science, another article reviewed "Emerging Principles for the Therapeutic Exploitation of Glycosylation". David Spriggs, Sam Danishefsky, and Jerry Ravetch have been part of the glycosylated protein field for several years, contributing to vaccine development and antibody Fc functional studies. The program brings these fields and investigators together to examine how immunotherapy can change the cure rates and survival in ovarian cancer. The overall Objective of the program will be: to increase the knowledge about the interactions between the host immune system and High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. We expect to translate that knowledge into improved treatments and longer symptom free survival for women with ovarian cancer. The program will include 4 projects: 1) MUC16 glycobiology; Personalized Vaccine Therapy in ovarian cancer; Modified T-cell Therapy of Ovarian Cancer; and Fc Modification of anti-MUC16 ectodomain antibodies to enhance efficacy.