Lung cancer, esophageal
cancer and malignant mesothelioma are the leading cause of cancer
deaths in the United States today. The Thoracic Surgery
Research Laboratory is focusing on the design of new treatment strategies
for lung cancer, esophageal cancer and mesothelioma based on the
rapidly evolving disciplines of molecular biology, immunotherapy,
and gene therapy. Multiple tumor models are in place to discover
and test and develop targeted therapeutic agents.
In close collaboration with Dr.
Steven M. Albelda and the Thoracic Oncology Research
Laboratory, the major area of recent interest in the lab
is augmentation of anti-tumor immune effects using several immunomodulators
in combination with surgical techniques.
The primary drive of the laboratory’s immunological approach
lies in the augmentation of currently available surgical procedures
with cancer vaccinations which will act to modulate and disrupt
the tumor microenvironment and other immunosuppressive factors inherent
in a cancer patient. In particular, we are targeting myeloid-derived
suppressor cells through the use of anti-tumoral cytokines and adenoviral
through the modeling of recurrent disease, we can develop better
therapies to target and induce danger signaling pathways to recruit
innate immunity to aid in eliminating lingering microscopic metastases.