Siwen Hu-Leiskovan, MD, PhD
The Katz Family Foundation Research Grant
Research Title: Double Immune Suppression Blockade to Treat Melanoma
Mentor: Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD
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 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.