Damon Runyon Researchers

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Santosha A. Vardhana, MD, PhD

Dr. Vardhana [Gordon Family Clinical Investigator] is exploring the hypothesis that gastric cancers create an inhospitable environment for immune T-cells by limiting the availability of essential nutrients needed by T-cells to produce the cytotoxic proteins that, when released, kill cancer cells. There is evidence that T-cells lose the ability to produce cytotoxic proteins within gastric tumors, while gastric tumors take up and sequester amino acids—the building blocks of all proteins, including cytotoxic proteins—such that they cannot be accessed by T-cells within tumors. Understanding and reversing this metabolic sequestration within gastric tumors may be a novel strategy to enhance T-cell immunity within gastric tumors.

Project title: "Overcoming metabolic suppression of anti-tumor immunity in gastric cancer"
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Named Award: Gordon Family Clinical Investigator
Award Program: Clinical Investigator
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Charles L. Sawyers, MD
Cancer Type: Gastric
Research Area: Immunotherapy