Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Matthew D. Hellmann, MD

The recent discovery that the immune system can be used to treat cancers has revolutionized treatment and given new hope for long-term response and survival to patients with lung cancer. Research so far has demonstrated that there are some predictors of response to immunotherapy, such as tumor mutation burden which is increased in patients most likely to benefit from immunotherapy. Dr. Hellmann will focus on gaining a deeper understanding of how responses are initiated, why they can remain so durable, and what are the features that characterize resistance when it occurs.  He aims to use this information to build better immunotherapy strategies in the future for patients with lung cancer - to broaden the number of patients who can benefit, to improve the depth and durability of response, and have rational strategies for overcoming resistance if it occurs.

Project title: "Defining intratumoral and peripheral mechanisms mediating initiation of response, durability, and resistance to PD-1 blockade to inform rational immunotherapeutic development in NSCLC"
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Award Program: Clinical Investigator
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Charles M. Rudin, MD, PhD, and Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
Cancer Type: Lung
Research Area: Immunotherapy