CAR T Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer Research Team - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C–Lustgarten Foundation CAR T Research Team:
Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell (CAR T) Therapy
for Pancreatic Cancer

Grant Term: April 2017–March 2019

CAR T therapy, a therapeutic strategy to use the patient’s immune cells to fight cancer, has been promising with blood cancers but seems less effective in treating solid cancers. The SU2C–Lustgarten Foundation CAR T Research Team is using state-of-the-art epigenetic approaches and preclinical models to examine CAR T cells and tumor cells in patients who respond to CAR T therapy and in those who do not, with a particular focus on pancreatic cancer patients.


The goal of the SU2C–Lustgarten Foundation CAR T Research Team is to understand why immunotherapy does not cause tumor regression in all patients. They are studying the genetic and epigenetic markers in immune cells called CAR T cells to identify ways to optimize their cancer-killing features.

They have two overarching aims. First, they are isolating CAR T cells from patients with ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and metastatic pancreatic cancer and analyzing them using state-of-the-art cellular assays. Second, they are studying the CAR T cells obtained from patients to understand how to prolong and enhance the cells’ activity. They expect that these studies will shed light on approaches to optimize the combination of CAR T cells with checkpoint therapies that block the function of CTLA-4 and PD-1, proteins on cell surfaces that inhibit normal immune response.

This team is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Collective portfolio of research.


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