The Cancer Immunology (CI) Research Program evolved from the former Immunology and Immunotherapy research program. The previous immunology and Immunotherapy program was centered around basic immunology wherein only some investigators had cancer immunology as their primary interest In contrast, the present CI program has cancer-directed immunology research as its nucleus, supported by the research and fertile environment provided by the more basic immunology community at Yale. Several programmatic developments enabled this evolution;First, new recruitments have bolstered cancer immunology research. Secondly, existing CI members have expanded their research efforts in cancer-specific studies. Third, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cancer immunology clinical trials. Finally, the clinical success of immune modulators has increased the prestige of cancer immunology and subsequently the interest in it by the Yale immunology community. The CI Research Program is still invested in supporting the "basic" research activities of the program, which is among the most productive in the field of immunology. In addition to its intrinsic value, this research creates a dynamic and fertile environment that adds to the cancer mission and which facilitates the recruitment of cancer immunologists. The central themes and scientific goals of the CI Program: 1. Identify cellular and molecular mechanisms that inhibit spontaneous immune responses against cancer cells in mouse models and in the clinic;2. Discover and test approaches for promoting anti-tumor immunity;3. Study the mechanistic links between inflammation, immune stimulation and cancer. Since the last CCSG submission, the Programs 34 members published 539 (2006-12) cancer related papers, of which 15% were intra-programmatic and 22% inter-programmatic. The total cancer research funding of the CI Program is $16M total costs, of which $13.2IVI is peer-reviewed and $3M is NCI-funded.
The immune system, commonly. thought of as being dedicated to fighting infection, can be directed towards killing cancer cells. On the other hand, persistent poorly controlled immune responses can promote cancer. The goal of the Cancer Immunology program is to discover ways to promote immune eradication of cancer and to prevent immune-mediated induction of cancer.
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