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."