Novel approaches to cancer immunotherapy including the evaluation of monoclonal antibody therapy, and new strategies for enhancing the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade cancer immunotherapy
The laboratory of Dr. George Weiner investigates new approaches to cancer immunotherapy. He also serves as the Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and Principal Investigator of the Iowa / Mayo Lymphoma Specialized Program in Research Excellence (SPORE). His research focuses in the following areas.
Mechanisms of action of anti-tumor monoclonal antibody therapy. A number of mechanisms have been identified as contributing to the anti-tumor monoclonal antibodies. Dr. Weiner is exploring the relative role of these mechanisms of action and how they interact in vitro, in animal models and in clinical trials.
Cancer immunotherapy utilizing immunostimulatory DNA containing the CpG motif. Oligonucleotides containing the CpG motif (CpG ODN) can have potent immunostimulatory effects. Dr. Weiner is exploring novel approaches to using CpG ODN in cancer, including studies being done in collaboration with Dr. Aliasger Salem (College of Pharmacy) using CpG ODN-containing nanoparticles and evaluation of virus-like particles that contain CpG DNA.
Other novel approaches to enhancing the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Weiner and colleagues are exploring other novel technologies to identify and develop new approaches to cancer immunotherapy. This includes RNA aptamers, in collaboration with Paloma Giangrande, specific for T regulatory cells, and use of the Sleeping Beauty Transposon model, in collaboration with Adam Dupuy, to identify genes that contribute to T cell trafficking into tumors.