The Center for Experimental Immuno-Oncology (EIO) was formed to organize and expand the research community at MSK that is focused on the full spectrum of basic science relevant to the interaction of the immune system with tumors.
The EIO Center will foster collaboration among existing investigators and attract faculty and trainees to the institution. It represents a major aspect of MSK’s efforts to strengthen our leading role in immuno-oncology.
The Center operates under the emerging understanding that tumors are formed by coevolving groups of interactive cancer cells and immune cells. The immune dysfunction of the tumor microenvironment affects not just T cells but all immune cells, yet our understanding of these additional cell types (macrophages, natural killer cells, innate lymphoid cells, and others) in the tumor context remains rudimentary. There are also strong parallels between the microenvironment of tumors and of chronic infections and studying these parallels can inform both fields. Developing the next generation of immunotherapies will require an integrated understanding of this complex tumor ecosystem.
It is this expansive view of complex interactions between immune cell types in the tumor environment, the parallels between microbial infections and tumors, and the translation of this knowledge into therapeutics, that the EIO Center will promote at MSK.