Transformative Breast Cancer Consortium Award
Researchers at the Fred Hutch, including immunotherapy expert Dr. Stanley Riddell, professor (Medical Oncology) have received a four-year, $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to learn how to kill metastatic cancer’s deadly seeds before they can sprout.
The new grant mechanism is designed to “support collaborations and ideas that will transform the lives of individuals with, and/or at risk for, breast cancer and will significantly accelerate progress toward ending breast cancer.” And this transformation must be in people's lives, “not in the health care or research system.”
Riddell, who holds the Burke O’Reilly Family Endowed Chair in Immunotherapy, will co-lead a project with translational breast cancer researcher Dr. Cyrus Ghajar that aims to use both natural and engineered immunity to neutralize disseminated tumor cells.
This team will use deep precision profiling of primary tumors, disseminated tumor cells and the immune microenvironments — the immune cells in and around tumor cells — to identify candidate antigens (markers on tumor cells that immune cells could be programmed to target) for engineered T-cell immunity.
Ghajar will serve as scientific director of the newly formed consortium and epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Li will serve as its administrative director.