Using genetic engineering, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) physician-scientist Christopher Klebanoff, MD, has led a team of researchers to create a “cloak” that protects cancer-fighting T white blood cells, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cells, from self-destructing. During cancer immunotherapy, immune cells often undergo a form of cellular suicide, termed apoptosis, which can limit the therapy’s effectiveness. The use of “genetic cloaking” prevents immune cell apoptosis, enhancing the effectiveness of cellular immunotherapies for liquid and solid cancers in mouse models. This new technique is also effective in protecting human cancer-fighting immune cells. These findings lay the groundwork for a potentially universal gene-engineering strategy to safely increase the potency of cellular immunotherapies for a broad range of cancers.
Doctors have had limited success developing targeted therapies for the treatment of glioblastoma and lower-grade glioma, the most common primary brain cancers in adults. Targeted therapy requires matching drugs to the genetic profile of a tumor, which can substantially change throughout the course of the disease. Keeping track of these changes is particularly challenging in people with brain tumors because collecting tumor DNA requires brain surgery. But experts from MSK have shown that utilizing the minimally invasive procedure commonly called a spinal tap may help doctors better understand a tumor’s changing genetic makeup, offering clues into such traits as tumor aggressiveness.
In patients with progressive, refractory, or symptomatic desmoid tumors, sorafenib (Nexavar®) significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and induced durable responses. This study defined an active therapy for desmoid tumors that appears effective in slowing disease progression.
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) reported results from a new study that looks at the likelihood of complications for people undergoing bone marrow transplants (BMTs). The observational study found that people with lower gut microbiota diversity before having a transplant appear to be at higher risk for developing complications. These findings further support evidence that the connection between microbiota and outcomes starts before people begin the transplantation process. These findings were presented as part of the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) press program.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has announced that Oren Cahlon, MD, a renowned radiation oncologist and expert in proton therapy, will assume the position of Associate Deputy Physician-in-Chief for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Regional Care Network. With this appointment, which is effective immediately, Dr. Cahlon will help oversee the network’s outpatient clinical programs, which span seven locations across New York and New Jersey.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) researchers presented the results of a randomized phase III trial at today’s press program for the European Society for Medical Oncology’s 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany. The results demonstrated that a combination of the immune checkpoint blocker avelumab (Bavencio®) and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) axitinib (Inlyta®) can significantly improve progression-free survival (PFS) in people who have been previously untreated for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Young adults are increasingly developing colon cancer — and it’s often diagnosed at a late stage, after they’ve seen several doctors and been misdiagnosed, a new survey shows. MSK’s Robin Mendelsohn and Center for Young Onset Colorectal Cancer are highlighted.