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Research Programs

Discipline-based Programs

Cancer Immunology

Program Leadership

Cancer Immunology Program

The mission of the Program in Cancer Immunology is to generate new insights into the mechanisms that regulate the anti-tumor immune response and to translate this information into efficacious immunotherapies for cancer patients.  The central hypothesis of the Program is that a deeper understanding of the requirements for effective innate and adaptive host responses will advance the development of treatment strategies that overcome tumor immune escape. 

Thematically, the Program is broadly divided into investigative efforts in:

  • bone marrow transplantation
  • adoptive cellular therapies and 
  • cancer vaccines.

The overall goal of the Program is to improve the efficacy and reduce the toxicities of these three immunologic approaches to the treatment of cancer.

The Program, led by Glenn Dranoff, MD and administered through a Basic Science and Clinical Steering Committee, includes faculty members from Harvard Medical School and its affiliated institutions who receive peer-reviewed funding. Members are recruited based upon research interests and willingness to collaborate with other scientists and clinicians in furthering the Program mission.

Regular seminar series serve to disseminate ongoing research findings, increase knowledge of the critical issues in cancer immunology within the greater Harvard Immunology community, and stimulate new collaborations among basic and clinical scientists.  An active clinical trials program across multiple Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center institutions in bone marrow transplantation/adoptive cellular therapies and cancer vaccines serves as a key nodal point for interactions with numerous Disease Programs including Leukemia, Lymphoma, Gynecologic Oncology, Cutaneous Oncology, Thoracic Oncology, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cancer, Neuro-oncology, and Biostatistics.