2006 Clinical Investigator

Eckhard Podack, MD, PhD

Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami, Miami, FL
Professor, Department Head, Microbiology and Immunology

Research Focus: Immunotherapy
Cancer Type: Clinical Translation of Gene Therapy for Lung Cancer

The proposed study will utilize a novel approach to a vaccine for lung tumors, based on a genetically modified, secreted form of heat shock protein. These tumors are ideal targets for immunotherapy, a gene therapy that stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. The vaccine is comprised of lung tumor cells that secrete hsp-gp96, which facilitates the generation of killer cells against the tumor. Initial in vitro data, and with experimental mice, indicates that a vaccine using these proteins is over one million fold more efficient in the generation of killer cells. In addition, these properties allow us to study how gp96 induces or restores immunity that is suppressed in the presence of existing tumors.

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