Taking Target

The immune system has a tough time targeting cancer cells because they often find ways to alter their make-up or microenvironment to avoid detection. To overcome this, researchers at Meyer Cancer Center and elsewhere have found ways to help the immune system recognize cancer cells and strengthen its response so that it will destroy them. Find out about the innovative ways that physicians and scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian are harnessing patients' own bodies to target their tumors.


Renowned radiation oncologist Sylvia Formenti, M.D., of the Meyer Cancer Center, is transforming tumors via immunotherapy

From foe to friend: Transforming tumors into personalized vaccines

Radiation has long been a pillar of cancer care, alongside surgery and chemotherapy. But what if it could be used in a new way - to trigger a set of immune responses that transform tumors into killing machines, a type of in situ vaccine?

The ‘Quantum Theory’ of cancer treatment

Understanding how the immune system responds to immunotherapy and radiation will be key to optimizing the combination of the two, says Sandra Demaria, M.D.

Silvia Formenti, M.D., discusses her novel approach to immunotherapy using radiation treatment.

The promise of combining radiotherapy and immunotherapy to treat cancer

By eliciting an anti-tumor immune response that is specific to the individual cancer, radiotherapy combined with immune checkpoint blockade rises to the role of personalized medicine, says Silvia Formenti, M.D.

Enzyme key to triggering anti-cancer immune response

An enzyme implicated in autoimmune diseases and viral infections also regulates radiation therapy’s ability to trigger an immune response against cancer, Weill Cornell Medicine scientists found in a new study. Their discovery can help to better tailor treatment for patients.

Partnering up to test radiation immunotherapy treatments

Weill Cornell Medicine has formed a strategic, preclinical research alliance with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) to develop new treatment approaches for certain types of cancer.

Blood cancers

Meyer Cancer Center researchers are developing targeted immunotherapy for patients with AML

Teaming up to translate AML discoveries into novel immunotherapy

Weill Cornell Medicine and Cellectis have entered into a strategic translational research alliance to accelerate the development of a targeted immunotherapy for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a deadly blood cancer. The company is working with Gail Roboz, M.D., as they develop gene edited CAR-T cell product candidates, a special kind of immune cell that includes an antibody-derived receptor.

Meyer Cancer Center researchers are developing targeted immunotherapy to attack leukemia stem cells

Solving the leukemia stem cell conundrum

Monica Guzman, Ph.D., and Duane Hassane, Ph.D., are combatting "minimal residual disease," the bane of leukemia treatment, by targeting leukemia stem cells using CAR-T cells engineered to seek out a protein marker they have identified on the surface of those cells.

Immunotherapy is an exciting new frontier in blood cancers like lymphoma

Immune checkpoint inhibition an ‘important new frontier’ in lymphoma

“This is very exciting and it is an important new frontier, just as it is in solid tumors,” says renowned lymphoma expert John P. Leonard, M.D., in a review of the role of immunotherapy — specifically immune checkpoint inhibitors ― in the treatment of blood cancers.

Immunotherapy, Improving the Odds

Kristy L. Richards, M.D., Ph.D., studies lymphoma, why some patients with the cancer respond to immunotherapies and others don’t, as well as which combination of treatments could improve survival.

A drug that recruits immune cells to fight an aggressive form of lymphoma that disproportionately affects minorities in the Unit

Innovative immunotherapy more effective in treating an aggressive lymphoma than chemotherapy

A drug that recruits immune cells to fight an aggressive form of lymphoma that disproportionately affects minorities in the United States appears to be more effective than chemotherapy, according to Adrienne Phillips, M.D.

Pancreatic cancer

Immunotherapy expert Douglas Fearon, M.D., of Meyer Cancer Center, is exploring new ways to treat pancreatic cancer

Eliminating T cell barriers in pancreatic cancer patients

Immunotherapeutic approaches that have worked in other cancer types have not been effective against pancreatic cancer. Douglas Fearon, M.D., is hoping to change that by exploring ways to eliminate T cell barriers in pancreatic cancer patients.

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian Cancer: Overcoming Obstacles to Immunotherapy

Juan R. Cubillos-Ruiz, Ph.D., and Eloise Chapman-Davis, M.D., are trying to make immunotherapy treatments work for ovarian cancer patients.

Weill Cornell Dean Laurie Glimcher is leading immunotherapy research into ovarian cancer

Glimcher lab identifies immune trigger in ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer shuts down immune system cells that would otherwise act as a first line of defense against the deadly tumor. A team led by Dean Laurie Glimcher, M.D., has identified a key gene that can be targeted to restore dendritic cell function and trigger robust immune responses against the difficult-to-treat cancer

Genitourinary cancer

Prostate cancer expert Mark Rubin, M.D., of Meyer Cancer Center discusses immunotherapy in genitourinary cancers

Immunotherapy in genitourinary cancers

Is there anything that can be done to increase the viability of immunotherapy in prostate cancer? Mark A Rubin, M.D., discusses the issue of "mutation load" in various genitourinary cancers.

Clinical trials exploring immunotherapy in bladder cancer

Does immunotherapy has a greater benefit for bladder cancer patients in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting?

The immunotherapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab) has demonstrated a major survival advantage in bladder cancer patients

The impact of Tecentriq to treat patients with advanced bladder cancer

The immunotherapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab) has been found to be non-toxic and has demonstrated a major survival advantage in patients with metastatic urothelial bladder cancer, according to David Nanus, M.D.