Michael Karin, PhD

$500,000 SENIOR INVESTIGATOR GRANT

Research Title: Using Oxaliplatin to improve the response to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade

University California San Diego

Immune checkpoint inhibitors had revolutionized cancer treatment. The most versatile such drugs are antibodies that target a receptor molecule called PD-1 or its ligand PD-L1. Although effective in many cancer types, response rates to these drugs rarely exceed 20-30%, necessitating the search for agents that synergize with PD-1/PD-L1 blockers. Using mouse models, we found that the conventional chemotherapeutic drug oxaliplatin has the unique ability to greatly enhance the response to PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies. We will investigate how oxaliplatin increases the effectiveness of PD-1/PD-L1 blockers and will validate these findings in human lung cancer through a Phase I/II clinical study.

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