Timeframe: 2016 – 2019
Goal: Characterize T-cells in the FLC tumor microenvironment
Principal Investigator: Kevin M. Sullivan, M.D., General Surgery
Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that harnesses the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease. The immune system can precisely target cancer cells, while also minimizing damage to the remainder of the body’s normal cells. In this project, the team investigated a well-established method of using the immune system, successful in treating other cancers such as melanoma, as a treatment for fibrolamellar. They used a variety of techniques to look at which types of immune cells reside within fibrolamellar tumors. One type of immune cell, called the T cell, is of particular interest because it can specifically recognize and destroy cancer cells. The study group has previously confirmed that T cells are found within fibrolamellar tumors. Specific goals included:
- Gaining a detailed understanding of the characteristics of the T cells that are active within fibrolamellar tumors.
- Growing and activating these T cells and testing their ability to fight cancer cells in cell cultures and slices of fibrolamellar tumor grown in the laboratory.
The goal of his project was to build knowledge of the immune microenvironment that will help make T cell immunotherapy against fibrolamellar a reality.