Center for Immunotherapy

2020 was shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Translational Research at Roswell Park, and his team at the Center of Immunology.

Your body’s normal immune response is to try to fight off invaders, such as viral and bacterial infections, and to rid the body of abnormal or mutated cells, such as cancer cells. But sometimes cancer can outsmart the immune system, shutting down its ability to detect or attack cancer.
"It’s the potential to provide simple and effective methods to protect against disease and cancer. That’s what has always been very important to me.”

“For me, it’s kind of a miracle. I have the second chance in life that I never thought I’d have.”

Although most patients on immunotherapies experience few — if any — side effects related to treatment, serious side effects can occur. Find out which symptoms to watch for.

Roswell Park is one of very few institutions in the United States equipped to offer clinical trials of a full range of immunotherapies. How do these treatments work, and what new immunotherapy clinical trials are underway or close to being launched?

Clinical trials are a key reason why childhood cancer treatments and survival rates have improved significantly in recent years.

“Initially, ovarian cancer, melanoma, and some sarcomas are the three main targets,” says Dr. Koya, “but the clinical trial is open for patients with other cancers who meet the eligibility requirements."

Collected last week from a patient with late-stage ovarian cancer, these are not ordinary T cells; they have been altered and multiplied in the hope that when they are given back to her, they will launch a devastating attack on her cancer cells.

We’re very excited about bringing this new series of clinical trials to our patients. The promise of outsmarting cancer and disarming its defenses by ramping up our own innate immune systems has never been more real.

You may not realize it, but your body is home to a lot of microbes — way more than you might think. In healthy humans, “microbial cells outnumber human cells by about ten to one,” according to the Human Microbiome Project of the National Institutes of Health.

OK, time to stifle the Thanksgiving jokes about turkey making you drowsy. Yes, there’s an amino acid called tryptophan in turkey, and it does help your body produce a chemical called serotonin, which promotes a good night’s sleep. But chicken, beef, nuts, and cheese also contain tryptophan, and no one’s pointing the finger at them. So if you nod off after dinner, it’s probably due to all the carbs in that pile of brown-and-serve rolls you scarfed down.