While much has been accomplished in recent years to better understand the role of the immune system in fighting cancer, there remains much more work to be done. Both laboratory and clinical research have allowed us to gain a more in-depth understanding of the way that cancer cells evade the immune system, thereby allowing us to develop new drugs to target these pathways. Historically, cancer researchers and clinicians have focused on studying a specific type of cancer. It is now clear, however, that by better understanding the immune system as a whole, it may be possible to find treatments that are not specific to just one type of cancer, but that could potentially treat all cancers.
At the UCSF Cancer Immunotherapy Program and Clinic, we bring together clinicians and scientists from across multiple disciplines into a single, streamlined program in order to develop novel approaches to treating cancer. Our research examines the effect of immune-based therapies on various markers of the immune system and the subsequent impact this has on cancer cells. This research will inform pioneering efforts to rapidly translate new scientific discoveries into tangible clinical benefits for patients.