Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team: Correlating Immunological Health to Cancer Susceptibility

Grant Term: January 2018 – December 2020

Scientists across many disciplines are working to understand how the immune system affects, mediates, or even controls cancer growth in different parts of the body. This SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team is using blood cells and other markers to intensively monitor the immune system over time in participants in three scientific research cohorts: an aging cohort, a twin cohort, and a cohort with inherited immunodeficiency. The results will be used to determine signatures of poor immune health that might predispose an individual to cancer. If successful, the findings will be a significant advance in medicine’s ability to understand what parts of the immune system are important in the prevention of cancer.


In analyzing samples from immunological studies, scientists have discovered indications that people with less robust immune responses can be more likely to develop and succumb to cancer. This finding offers intriguing possibilities to better understand the effect the immune system may have on the development and progression of cancers in the body.

The SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team will use a unique longitudinal cohort that was started at Stanford University in 2007, largely focused on older individuals and the phenomenon of aging, in their research project. A large quantity of data relating to the immune system has been collected. The current studies will include this cohort group and multiple complementary cohorts to look for a signature or signatures of immune dysfunction that predispose individuals to cancer.

Collaborating with clinicians, pathologists, immunologists, and Microsoft researchers, the team will connect the cohort studies at Stanford with bioinformatics and machine learning technologies to understand the role of immune impairment in cancer.


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