Our clinical and translational research focuses on finding better therapies for malignant brain tumors:
- Using immunotherapy (vaccines, T cells and checkpoint inhibitors) to activate the patient’s immune system against their brain tumor
- Using chemotherapy as an immunomodulator to synergize with immunotherapy to overcome brain tumor drug resistance
- Studying factors that impact outcomes and quality of life in patients with glioblastoma
We are very interested in translational science and our goal for all of our laboratory investigation is to translate these therapies into real options for patients. We currently are recruiting patients for a phase II study (ATTAC II) evaluating the efficacy of a CMV vaccine for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients. Our phase I results were published in Nature in 2015 and in Clinical Cancer Research in 2017. We that found people who were treated with the vaccine had durable responses, including multiple patients who are disease-free five years after treatment.
My research allows me to work with an expert and collaborative research and clinical team daily. Our researchers, neuro oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, nurses, coordinators and myself are providing excellent care, coming close to a cure for GBM and have a great time doing what we do. We have an extremely collaborative environment where inter– and intra-disciplinary work results in unique perspectives on approaches to cancer and ultimately breakthrough therapies for cancer patients.
The collaboration between scientists and clinicians and tremendous support from the university and the Cancer Center has resulted in millions of dollars of extramural funding and private donations to the department of neurosurgery and the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program in the last five years. This investment has resulted in the development of multiple leading-edge therapies and multiple investigator-initiated clinical trials that have brought patients from all over the country.