Dr. Zachary Hartman Receives NIH Funding for Novel Cancer Therapy

Zachary Hartman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Sciences, has received an R01 award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his proposal "Enabling effective anti-tumor immunity from targeted antibodies through dual innate and adaptive immune checkpoint blockade in non-immunogenic cancers." The grant will further support Dr. Hartman’s research into the therapeutic mechanism of trastuzumab, a common breast cancer therapy, with the goal of improving the efficacy of this treatment.

"In our recent work, we identified that a common breast cancer therapy, a HER-specific antibody called Herceptin, actually works through a mechanism involving macrophages,” says Dr. Hartman. “We further discovered that this antibody could be therapeutically enhanced through combination with a novel immune checkpoint–blocking antibody that targets a macrophage checkpoint to enhance their anti-tumor function in cancers."

"This new research grant extends these studies to explore how different T cell immune checkpoint antibodies can interact with tumor-specific antibody therapies, such as Herceptin, to improve these therapies in breast cancer, with the potential to apply these approaches to other antibody therapeutics in other cancers."