Today in The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Dr. Michael Caligiuri, President of City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles, California and Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair, and Dr. Jianhua Yu, professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope, and a Scholar of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

By combining leading-edge science with true compassion and personalized treatment for each and every patient, scientists, researchers, doctors, nurses and in fact anyone at City of Hope, share in one single goal: Outsmarting cancer to eliminate it.
Recognizing the accomplishments in cancer research, treatment, patient care, education and prevention, the National Cancer Institute has designated City of Hope as a comprehensive cancer center, an honor reserved for only 49 institutions nationwide.

Numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology pioneered by City of Hope. These drugs are saving lives of patients worldwide.

In addition to cancer research, millions of people with diabetes benefit from synthetic human insulin, developed through research conducted at City of Hope.

In today’s program, Hofland talk with Dr. Caligiuri and Dr. Yu about some of the results of this research – and how this is benefiting patients.

In a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal published by the American Association for Cancer Research, Dr. Caligiuri and Dr. Yu and their colleagues, provide, for first time a scientific explanation as to how checkpoint inhibitor therapy can work when there’s no checkpoint expressed on a patient’s cancer cells

This understanding may lead to a new powerful therapy against even more cancers

Immune System
The immune system is a powerful collection of structures and processes within the body, designed to prevent or limit infection and protect against disease. And while the immune system can naturally defend us against cancer, cancer, in turn, has the ability to evade the immune system by seducing it not to attack it.

To succeed, cancer exploits immune checkpoints, which regulate immune activation and prevent the immune system form attacking healthy cells. But this mechanism can also be used by a tumor to protect itself from being attacked by the immune system.

Checkpoints on tumor cells and on T cells, which are also called T lymphocyte, type of white blood cell, help keep immune responses in check.

In contrast, blocking these checkpoints releases the brakes on the immune system, giving it the ability to do what it is designed to do: eradicate cancer.

The study published in Cancer Discovery helps understand some of the complex mechanisms involved.