Damon Runyon Researchers

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Phillip L. Palmbos, MD, PhD

Although immunotherapy results in improved survival for some patients with advanced bladder cancer, most tumors do not respond, and the molecular drivers of this resistance to immunotherapy are poorly understood. Dr. Palmbos' goal is to use advanced bladder cancer models and patient data to identify the molecular drivers of resistance to bladder cancer therapy and to develop therapeutic strategies to reverse therapy resistance. His group has identified a gene, TRIM29, which is expressed in 70% of bladder cancers and is associated with immunotherapy resistance. TRIM29 is a protein that promotes degradation of STING and other innate immune proteins that drive anti-tumor immune response. He is currently investigating the regulation of the TRIM29-STING pathway and developing strategies to sensitize bladder and other cancer types to immunotherapy.

Project title: "Targeting TRIM29 to reverse immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance in bladder cancer"
Institution: University of Michigan
Award Program: Clinical Investigator
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Joshi J. Alumkal, MD
Cancer Type: Kidney and Bladder
Research Area: Immunotherapy