The AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Fellowships in Clinical Cancer Research are open to postdoctoral and clinical research fellows working at an academic, medical or research institution who will be in the first five years of their postdoctoral training at the start of the grant term. Proposed research projects may be in any area of clinical and/or translational cancer research.
Jian Li Campian, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
The Effect of IL-7 on Treatment-related Lymphopenia in High-grade Gliomas
"Patients with high-grade gliomas (glioblastoma multiforme is the most common type) routinely receive radiation, temozolomide, and glucocorticoids. These treatments often cause severe lymphopenia (very low lymphocytes) and suppression of the immune system. Our observations in patients with high-grade gliomas suggest that this treatment-related lymphopenia is long-lasting and is associated with shorter survival. The reconstitution of immune status following antineoplastic therapy has been tested in patients with several tumors. However, to date, there are no such studies in brain tumor patients who are on glucocorticoids undergoing radiotherapy with temozolomide.
"Interleukin 7 (IL-7) is a growth factor that helps lymphocytes especially peripheral CD4 cell to grow in number. The study drug, CYT107, is a recombinant human interleukin produced in eukaryotic cells (Cythersis Inc.). The purpose of this study is to test if we can give CYT107 safely and if CYT107 can increase the number of lymphocytes in patients with high-grade gliomas who developed severe lymphopenia after routine chemoradiation therapy. This is part of a larger effort that will attempt to preserve the immune system from the effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
"Currently available surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have limited efficacy in patients with high-grade gliomas. Our data suggests that the severity of treatment-related lymphopenia is an independent predictor for survival in this patient population. We propose a unique and novel approach to restore immune function in high-grade gliomas. The findings of this study will provide important information for a randomized study to determine if correction of CD4 lymphopenia improves survival and it could significantly affect current treatment paradigms for high-grade gliomas in the foreseeable future.
"I am excited and honored to receive the AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology Fellowship in Clinical Cancer Research. It provides the funding and opportunity for me to continue my research under the guidance of my mentor Dr. Stuart Grossman at Johns Hopkins. This project will be the milestone of my research on immunotherapy in primary brain tumors. I believe this grant will serve as a foundation of my career and will be extremely helpful to prepare me to pursue my long-term career goal as a translational and clinical investigator."
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