Marco Donia says: “Immunotherapy works by re-activating the body’s immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer. Some patients with advanced cancers, including melanoma, lung, and renal cancer, can be cured by current immunotherapies. However, most patients whose cancers initially regress after immunotherapy become resistant and grow back again. The determinants leading to this “acquired resistance to immunotherapy (ARI)” are unknown. Consequently, there is no curative treatment for patients who develop ARI. This project will pinpoint the genes and molecules responsible for ARI. Based on clinical data, we will generate complex high-throughput preclinical models to reproduce and study the molecular determinants behind immune evasion. These models will then be used to test therapeutic strategies against resistant cancers. These works will pave the way for new potential treatments for patients with ARI.”
Marco Donia is Staff Oncologist at the Department of Oncology, National Center for Cancer Immune Therapy (CCIT-DK), Copenhagen University Hospital (Herlev and Gentofte), and Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, since 2017.