(October 2018) Terry Fry, MD, professor of pediatrics in the Section of Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplantation, and co-director of the Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative, has been awarded a five-year, $4 million Research Project Cooperative Agreement award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The funding for Fry and his colleagues is part of the NCI Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network. The Network is associated with the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative that is intended to accelerate cancer research. Its goal is to identify and advance research opportunities for translating immunotherapy concepts for children and adolescents with cancer toward clinical applications.
Fry aims to advance chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy in high-risk pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Pediatric leukemia is often characterized by overexpression of receptors for cytokines that are critical for leukemia aggressiveness and progression. The overall goal of these studies is to identify successful combinatorial immunotherapeutic approaches to mitigate now-known resistance mechanisms of kinase signaling and antigen escape that are translatable to the clinic for early-phase testing in children with high-risk acute leukemia.