Conquer the Dark Side of the Force: Understanding and Targeting Immunosuppressive Myeloid Cells


Feb. 19, 2016, 1pm to 2pm

Office/Remote Location

Auditorium, Room 197


The Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine & School of Life Sciences invites you to attend a seminar with Dr. Xin Lu, MD from the Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Lu will talk about his research developing novel insights into the genomic, genetic and molecular mechanisms of tumor progression, tumor immunology and treatment resistance, and apply such knowledge to enhance efficacy of therapeutic intervention to benefit cancer patients. Lu's recent research is centered on prostate cancer functional genomics through in vivo ORF screen, which has identified new epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of prostate cancer bone metastasis and established a gold mine of new prostate cancer genes for deep mechanistic investigation.

In addition, my research program on prostate tumor microenvironment elucidated a new mechanism for recruiting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the prostate cancer and developed strategies on targeting MDSCs to enhance immune checkpoint blockade. The combination immunotherapy preclinical testing is greatly enhanced with my creation of the first ES cell-based chimeric transgenic mouse model of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), a disease that thousands of men in the US and worldwide die from every year. Recent advance using my models suggests combination of specific targeted therapies with immune checkpoint blockade can have drastic synergistic effect on eradicating mCRPC.

Abstract: Personalized medicine of cancer relies on integration of genomic and biological understanding of the disease. In the exciting era of tumor immunotherapy, understanding the signaling mechanisms between cancer cells and infiltrating immune cells may illuminate novel therapeutic approaches, in particular, combination immunotherapy. My recent research is centered on mechanistic understanding of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the US, and developing strategies on targeting MDSCs to enhance immunotherapy. I will discuss three projects: first, we identified a central mechanism for prostate cancer to recruit MDSCs to the tumor microenvironment; second, using a novel transgenic mouse approach, I showed that combination of MDSC-targeting with FDA-approved drugs with immune checkpoint inhibitors had drastic synergistic effect on eradicating metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, the second leading cause of death from cancer in men; third, my research program on prostate cancer functional genomics through in vivo ORF screen identified a number of new prostate cancer genes, including a chromatin effector as the culprit of the 1q21 amplicon to promote primary tumor and bone metastasis. My future research will focus on identifying new prostate cancer mechanisms and combination therapy strategies through application of advanced genomic and preclinical technologies.

Admission Information

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact Information

Leslie Rafalovich

External Sponsor

Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine / School of Life Sciences