University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Projects

Project 1: Inhibition of Indole-amine 2, 3 Dioxygenase to Enhance Ovarian Tumor Immunity

This project tests a novel, therapeutic strategy to break indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO)-mediated immune tolerance in ovarian cancer, while inducing anti-tumor-specific immunity in patients in second remission.

Co-Leaders: Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD; Protul Shrikant, PhD. UPCI-Leader: Alex Olawaiye, MD


Project 2: Rapamycin and IL-21 Conditioned CD8+ T cells for Adoptive Cellular Therapy of Ovarian Cancer

This project tests a combinatorial strategy of mTOR inhibition and IL-21 for ex vivo conditioning of antigen stimulated CD8+ T cells for effector and memory functional attributes, and also whether the ex vivo generated cells produce durable immunity against ovarian tumor in a clinical trial.

Co-Leaders: Cassian Yee, MD, PhD; Protul Shrikant, PhD; Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD


Project 3: MHC-Restricted and MHC-Non-Restricted Targeting of Ovarian Cancer by Alpha DC1-induced CTLs

This project tests whether autologous tumor-loaded type-1-polarized dendritic cells (αDC1s) will generate CTLs capable of recognizing ovarian cancer in either MHC class I-restricted-or MHC class I-unrestricted fashion, when used both as a vaccine and for adoptive T cell therapy.

Co-Leaders: Robert P. Edwards, MD; Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD


Project 4: Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells in Ovarian Carcinogenesis

Project 4 will determine the predictive significance of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which have strong immunosuppressive properties, in the long-term survival of ovarian cancer patients.

Co-Leaders: Kirsten Moysich, PhD; Lara Sucheston, PhD; Shashikant Lele, MD; Francesmary Modugno, PhD, MPH


Career Development Program (CDP)

Developmental Research Program (DRP)