Siwen Hu-Leiskovan, MD, PhD

University of California, Los Angeles
$100,000 Katz Family Foundation Career Development Research Grant

Research Title:
Double Immune Suppression Blockade to Treat Melanoma

The success of tumor immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma is limited by the presence of intratumoral immune suppressive cells. Our preclinical animal study showed that a small molecule inhibitor of key myeloid cell receptor called CSF-1R would cripple the immune suppressive myeloid cells and improve the antitumor activity of effector immune cells.

This allowed us to partner with Plexxikon to provide the CSF-1R inhibitor PLX3397 and Merck to provide the anti-PD-1 antibody MK-3475. We propose a phase 1 dose-escalation study to combine these two drugs in patients with metastatic melanoma. We will do correlative studies to test mechanism of combinatorial effects.

Mentor: Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD