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Laura M. Rogers, Ph.D., and colleagues in her lab at Mayo Clinic study cancer immunotherapy with an emphasis on understanding genetic determinants of immune cell infiltration into the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Rogers' laboratory applies the Sleeping Beauty transposon system and bioinformatics approaches to identify novel molecular players in immune infiltration, and then works to understand the biology and therapeutic potential of these candidates using in vivo preclinical models and in vitro approaches.
Many cancer immunotherapies that focus on enhancing cytotoxic T cell activity (such as CAR-T cell therapy and checkpoint blockade) require T cells to be present intratumorally. Cancer patients lacking T cells in their tumors are less likely to respond to T cell-mediated immunotherapies, including CAR-T cell adoptive transfer and immune checkpoint blockade. The lab aims to identify novel strategies to enhance intratumoral T cell accumulation, with the goal of improving immunotherapy success in patients with poorly infiltrated tumors.
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