Congratulations to Sara Asif, recipient of the OISB Summer Scholarship Award

Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2019

Picture of Sara Asif and Lisheng Wang in lab

Enhancing immune cells to kill tumor cells has produced durable and remarkable clinical responses in the treatment of several types of cancer. However, the clinical efficacy in breast cancer is limited with only <10% of patients responding to this type of therapy. Development of new strategies is an unmet medical need. Wang Lab has recently found a combination treatment capable of boosting anti-breast cancer immunity and simultaneously inhibiting breast cancer stem cells. During my summer research, I will determine the extent by which the new combination treatment will enhance the expression of key immune proteins that will be recognized by immune cells for eliciting anti-tumor immunity in mouse 4T1 and AT3ova breast cancer cells. Meanwhile, I will assess whether combination treatment directly inhibit the viability of bulk cancer cells and cancer stem cells. I will also determine whether combination treatment specifically boost immune function of CD8 T cells. I will co-culture primed CD8 T cells that specifically recognize a protein expressed in AT3ova cells after combination treatment, followed by assessing interferon gamma levels in CD8 T cells. Furthermore, I will actively participate in experiments to assess in vivo anti-tumor immunity of combination treatment using an animal model. I believe that this new approach will overcome the limitations of current therapeutic regimens, leading to a new and effective treatment for breast cancer.

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