Cancer Immunology: The Budding Fraternity
Cancer Immunology is one of the most important frontrunner disciplines in current biological sciences. It is basically the amalgamation of two modern disciplines Cancer Biology and Immunology. With the advent of newer treatment regimens and therapeutic approaches against cancer using the knowledge of immunology, the area under discussion is ever expanding. With thousands of immunomodulatory natural products being screened for anti-cancer properties and biotechnological advances in altering immunological parameters for anti-tumor therapy, Cancer Immunology holds immense potential in future.
Bearing that in mind we bring to you names of some of the who’s who of the field of Cancer Immunology.
1. Prof. Carl H June
Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy
Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies
Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, USA
The June Lab is primarily responsible for developing new CARs (Chimeric Antigen Receptors) and new vectors for current and proposed indications, and lymphocyte biology, with a major translational focus on ex vivo T-cell engineering for cancer and HIV cell based therapies. The main theme of the June Laboratory is to apply principles of the cellular immune system to develop novel therapies for cancer and chronic infection. They focus on the human immune system and study the biology of lymphocytes in order to manipulate their function and development, and then apply this knowledge for potential new avenues of immunotherapy. In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment has also now also been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
For several years they are working in the notion that various costimulatory molecules might have a role in specifying the fate of various lymphocyte subsets. Current projects are studying the role of CD28 and TNF family members in lymphocyte function and proliferation. Other projects involve developing advanced technology to engineer lymphocytes subsets for enhanced therapeutic effector functions. A variety of in vitro assays and humanized mouse models are used to discover new approaches and test for potential therapeutic activity.
The June Laboratory is located in the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Created in December 1997 with a $100 million pledge from the Abramson Family Foundation, the Cancer Research Institute integrates research, education, and comprehensive patient care at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania.