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Harvey Cantor, MD

Baruj Benacerraf Professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School

Chair, Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Contact Info

Harvey Cantor
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dept of Cancer Immunology & AIDS

Boston, MA, 02215
Mailstop: Smith 722
Phone not available.


Alison Angel
Business Manager
Program Manager, DF/HCC Cancer Immunology Program
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dept of Cancer Immunology & AIDs
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA, 02215
Mailstop: SM 722
Phone: 617-632-3328
Fax: 617-632-4630

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Cancer Immunology

Research Abstract

Our research focuses on T cell development and function. We have found that the immune response is regulated by two major subsets of T cells (CD4 and CD8) which recognize different classes of MHC molecule and mediate distinct immunological functions. This paradigm has had a major impact on clinical medicine. Findings that T helper cells can induce certain autoimmune disorders has helped to clarify diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Organ transplantation would be impossible without drugs that suppress CD8+ CTL and current vaccine strategies are based in part on understanding the protective role of the two T cell subsets in viral and tumor immunity.

Current studies focus on a newly-identified subset of CD8+ regulatory T cells that are essential to maintain self tolerance. CD8+ Treg are programmed to inhibit the activation and expansion of CD4+ helper T cells; defects in CD8+ Treg result in development of autoimmune disease. Insight into this regulatory T cell subset suggests new therapeutic approaches to autoimmune diseases and cancer.


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