OU Health Scientists Present Innovative Research at National Immunotherapy Meeting

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Researchers from the Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Health presented five abstracts at The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 33rd Annual Meeting.

The mission of the Society is to improve cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science, development, and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy. The annual meeting was held Nov. 7-11 in Washington, DC.

Stephenson Cancer Center conducts the majority of its immunotherapy research through the Oklahoma TSET Phase I Center which offers the only early-phase clinical trial program in the state of Oklahoma. Patients can access novel immunotherapy agents, often, years before they are made available to the general public.

The ability of cancer cells to evade immune detection and elimination is one of the hallmarks of cancer and, until recent years, has been an elusive target for cancer therapeutics. The development of immune checkpoint inhibitors heralded a new era in immune therapy for cancer patients with many types of solid tumors and hematologic tumors benefitting. The door has now been opened to discovery of agents that target different aspects of the immune system and bring new therapies into clinical trials for our patients

Stephenson Cancer Center researchers who presented at this year’s meeting include:

  • Kathleen Moore, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OU College of Medicine
  • Katherine Morris, M.D., Department of Surgery, OU College of Medicine
  • Kelly Stratton, M.D., Department of Urology, OU College of Medicine
  • Raid Aljumaily, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, OU College of Medicine
  • Susanna Ulahannan, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, OU College of Medicine
  • Anita Ray, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Stephenson Cancer Center
  • Robert Nofchissey, Lab Manager
  • William Berry, Department of Surgery, OU College of Medicine

Among this group are several physician-scientists who span the treatment of gastrointestinal, urologic, lung, head and neck and gynecologic cancers and are bringing new therapies and new hope to patients in Oklahoma and beyond.