The mission of the Cancer Immunology Program is to generate new insights into the mechanisms that regulate the anti-tumor immune response and to translate this information into efficacious immunotherapies for cancer patients. The central hypothesis is that a deeper understanding ofthe requirements for effective innate and adaptive host responses will advance the development of treatment strategies that overcome tumor immune escape. The Program is led by G. Dranoff(DFCI) and K. Wucherpfennig (DCFI), and includes 86 faculty members representing all seven member institutions and 13 departments of HMS and HSPH. The Program has been NCI funded since the consortium received its first CCSG in 2000, and was rated outstanding at the last CCSG renewal in 2005. In the current budget year, Program members generated $37.5 million (total costs) in peer-reviewed grant support, with $8.4 million in funding from the NCI. The total number of publications from members of the Program over the project period was 1,508 (2006 to 2010);14% were intra-programmatic, 24% were inter-programmatic and 18% were inter-institutional. Thematically. the Program is broadly divided into investigative efforts in bone marrow transplantation, adoptive cellular therapies and cancer vaccines. Regular workshops serve to disseminate ongoing research findings, increase knowledge of cancer immunology within the Harvard Immunology community and stimulate collaborations among basic and clinical scientists. An active clinical immunotherapy program across the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center institutions provides interactions and collaborations between the Program and numerous disease-focused Programs. Multiple DF/HCC Shared Resources advance the Program's research and clinical activities. During the current project period, the Program has had three specific aims. These are: 1. To increase our understanding of the immune mechanisms that contribute to tumor development. 2. To improve the therapeutic activity and minimize the toxicities of bone marrow transplantation and adoptive cellular therapies. 3. To improve the therapeutic activity and minimize the toxicities of cancer vaccines.
The Cancer Immunology Program of DF/HCC aims to generate new information about the immune response to cancer and then to apply this knowledge to advance the development of efficacious and safe immunotherapies. The Program brings together laboratory and clinical scientists to accelerate the translation of basic discoveries in immunology to the improvement of patient outcomes.
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