Canine Cancer Studies
Focusing on canine cancer, Dr. Nicola Mason and her team of researchers focus on developing novel approaches to generate functional, tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
One approach involves active immunization using whole tumor RNA loaded CD40 activated B cells, aimed at activating tumor specific T cells in vivo.
A second approach involves the passive adoptive transfer of genetically modified autologous T cells that are capable of MHC-independent tumor antigen recognition and activaton/effector function in the absence of co-stimulatory ligands.
A second related focus of Dr. Mason’s lab is to identify novel tumor-associated antigens and to develop single-chain fragment variable targeting systems that can be used alone or in concert with cell based therapies to target spontaneous occurring tumors.
Through innovative clinical trials in canine cancer patients, the lab works in concert with clinical oncologists to evaluate the safety and efficacy of both active immunization and passive adoptive transfer of genetically modified T cells in the treatment of spontaneously occurring cancer.