John Kirkwood, MD, Principal Investigator
The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute is conducting a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Skin Cancer. The overall goals of the SPORE are to improve the detection and treatment of skin cancer.
The SPORE includes five translational research projects in skin cancer, four cores including an administrative core, a developmental research program, and a career development program. The Skin Cancer SPORE uses an interdisciplinary approach to meet its objectives by carrying out projects with co- investigators in basic, applied, and clinical science. It is also organ-specific; all translational research projects test hypotheses about skin cancer biology, susceptibility, detection, or treatment with a long-term goal of improving treatment outcomes for patients diagnosed with skin cancer. The main projects are:
- Project 1: Immunologic and Genetic Determinants of Outcome and Response to IFN-α2b therapy in E1697
- Project 2: Multiple Antigen-Engineered DC Immunization and IFNα Boost for Metastatic Melanoma
- Project 3: DCs Regulate Chemokine Responsiveness of Melanoma-specific T Cells
- Project 4: Therapeutic Immune Targeting of EphA2 Expressed by Melanoma and Its Tumor-Associated Vasculature
- Project 5: Augmentation of Dendritic Cell-based Immunotherapy for Sezary Syndrome by T-reg depletion
The research cores are the Immunological Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory/Tissue Microarray (IMCPL/TMA) Core, the Biostatistics Core and the Informatics Core. These research cores will support the main research projects, developmental research projects, and the career development investigators in carrying out translational skin cancer research. The Administrative Core will solicit feedback from the Internal and External Scientific Advisory Boards and provide scientific, regulatory, and fiscal oversight for the SPORE program. The Skin SPORE investigators will work together to synergistically achieve the goals of the program and will also interact with investigators from SPOREs at other institutions to improve the outcome of patients with skin cancer.