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Fred Hutch

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Immuno-oncology Research Program

The research program led by the Allen Institute for Immunology and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will delve into the immune cells and immune signatures that underlie successful treatments for blood and solid tumor cancers, with the goal of developing better, more effective targeted immune-based treatments for these diseases.

Researchers at Fred Hutch and other institutions have developed new forms of cancer treatment known as T-cell therapy, in which researchers engineer a patient’s own immune cells in the lab to better recognize and eliminate cancer from the body. Clinical trials of these therapies are showing promise for some patients with certain cancers, but they don’t work for all patients or all tumor types. Researchers still can’t predict which patients will respond well to the therapy and don’t understand the fundamental science behind these successes and failures.

Through this immuno-oncology research program, our researchers will tackle a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the immune cells and molecules that are involved in this treatment strategy for cancer. They will also capture the molecular and cellular differences in the immune systems of patients whose cancer disappears in response to T-cell therapy and those for whom the treatments don’t work.

Understanding the details of that immunobiology will help the research team improve T-cell therapies so they will work for more cancer patients, as well as allow them to make more informed treatment decisions for current patients with advanced stage cancers, who may not have the time to try several different treatments. To start, the team will focus on patients with advanced multiple myeloma, the second most common type of blood cancer in the U.S. and one which currently has no cure.

Stanley Riddell, M.D.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Stanley Riddell is a Member in the Program in Immunology and Scientific Director of the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. His research focuses on understanding how T cells respond to pathogens and tumors, and on the development and clinical application of adoptive T cell therapy for cancer by genetically modifying specific subsets of T cells with natural and synthetic receptors to instruct them to recognize tumor cells. His lab led the first trials of antigen-specific T cell therapy in humans and the first trials to administer genetically modified antigen-specific T cells. Dr. Riddell has received numerous honors, including the E. Donnall Thomas award from the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, a Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technical University of Munich, the Hans Messner Award from the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group, and election to the Association of American Physicians and American College of Physicians. He is an Ambassador and Distinguished Affiliate Professor at the Technical University of Munich and Virginia Hobbs Charitable Trust Research Professor of the American Cancer Society.