Discovering the Next Generation of Immunotherapy

At Roswell Park, we are on the forefront of immunotherapy research. Through our research, we are able to offer you treatment options not found at every cancer center.

We study each patient’s immune system to discover new ways for it to fight cancer. We create clinical trials that target specific cells and spare healthy cells, to offer you treatments with fewer side effects than standard cancer treatments.

Dedicated Research Laboratories 

  • The Sebastiano Battaglia Lab: focuses on integrating bioinformatics, immunological and genetic approaches, to identify neoantigens and their corresponding TCRs in neoplastic tissues, to create clinically usable cancer vaccines.
  • The Thinle Chodon Lab: focuses on the development of reengineered peripheral-blood-derived stem cells into efficient anti-tumor immune cells, with the ability to recognize and kill cancer cells.
  • The Fumito Ito Lab: focuses on the development of a more effective immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of melanoma, sarcoma and gastrointestinal cancer.
  • The Richard Koya Lab: focuses on gene vector design, molecular imaging, new approaches to enhance anti-cancer T-lymphocyte responses, advanced immune monitoring, and understanding of cancer biology for therapeutic translation.
  • The Junko Matsuzaki Lab: focuses on development of reliable immunomonitoring strategy, characterization of spontaneous and vaccine-induced immune responses in cancer patients, and immune suppression mechanisms at local tumor sites.
  • The Kunle Odunsi Lab: focuses on molecular characterization of the dynamic interactions between tumor cells and immune cells, and translating these findings into clinical applications of immunotherapy.
  • The Takemasa Tsuji Lab: focuses on utilizing tumor antigen-specific CD4+ T cells to maximize the therapeutic effect of cancer immunotherapy, development of therapeutic gene products (T cell receptors and chimeric antigen receptors) for adoptive T cell therapy, identification of immunotherapy targets, and characterizing spontaneous and vaccine-induced immune responses against tumor antigens.
  • The Emese Zsiros Lab: focuses on conducting clinical trials of immunomodulatory therapeutics and the multiplexed characterization of tumor-immune interface in response to these novel treatments.

Innovative Ovarian Cancer Research

Dr. Odunsi explains the exciting research developments that led to the NYSTEM grant.

Roswell Park's Center for Immunotherapy is on the cutting-edge of research for ovarian cancer. In 2015, they received a 12 million dollar grant funded by the New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM) to accelerate therapeutic applications of stem cells to develop a new therapy for recurrent chemo-resistant ovarian cancer.

Using adoptive T cell therapy to harness the immune system, Roswell Park's Center for Immunotherapy team reengineers adult stem cells from patients’ blood and infuses these reprogrammed cells back into the patients. By reengineering the cells, they become cancer-fighting cells.

Once inside a patient’s body, the reengineered stem cells become mature blood cells, providing a continuous, potentially lifelong source of cancer-fighting immune cells for a sustained response. The team has successfully reengineered human blood-derived stem cells such that when they mature in the body of mice, they become anti-tumor immune cells, with the ability to recognize and kill cancer cells. In this clinical trial, reengineered mature immune cells are also utilized to provide the first attack on the cancer cells, followed by help from the transgenic stem- cell-derived progeny immune cells for a sustained, long-lasting anti-cancer response. 

Collaborative Ovarian Cancer Research Study

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center experts discuss the significance of the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Ovarian Cancer award.

The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Ovarian Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) brings together investigators to perform innovative clinical trials for treatment of patients with primary and recurrent ovarian cancer, and prevention of relapse in patients in remission. Four projects have been carefully designed usingimmune-based approaches that have the potential to change how ovarian cancer is treated within five years.

SPORE includes: