New FCF research grant issued to University of Washington

FCF is pleased to announce that we have awarded Dr. Venu Pillarisetty of the University of Washington a two-year grant entitled “Therapeutic modulation of tumor-infiltrating T cell function in fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC)”.

Immunotherapy – harnessing patients’ immune systems to attack tumor cells – has become established as an exceptionally promising approach for cancer treatment.  Prior work by Dr. Pillarisetty, in part funded by FCF, revealed that the ability of immune cells to find and kill cancer cells is suppressed in FLC. The goal of the proposed research is to better understand the factors responsible for this suppression, and to find ways to overcome the barriers and thereby fully unleash the therapeutic potential of immune cells against FLC.

This study plans to characterize the distribution of immune cells in relation to cancer cells and evaluate the proliferation of specific T cells after immunotherapy. By using slices of FLC tumors obtained from patients, they plan to test how combinations of immunotherapy can influence the cancer-killing function of T cells. Finally, they plan to develop an immune-competent mouse model of FLC to make studying the disease easier.