Immunotherapy and Cancer

Neeley Remmers

Hello All! I’ll begin this first blog by giving a little introduction of myself. I am a 5th year graduate student currently working on my thesis and preparing for my defense at the end of July. Part of me wants to jump for joy that the end is in sight while another part of me is freaking out about all the work I have left to do and yet another part of me is acting like a scared child afraid of the unknown and what is to come next. I have only begun working on lining up a job after I graduate; I know, I totally procrastinated on this end but only because I know I won’t be able to leave my lab until later this fall. But I figure the process of finding a job post-graduation could make for some good topics and experiences to share with everyone and hopefully through my blunders I can help make the process a little easier for one other person.

As for my thesis project, my research is a conglomerate of a number of different fields. The big picture field I work in is pancreatic cancer and I have been researching the roles of mucins and glycans in pancreatic cancer. As of lately, my project has taken me down a more specific path of studying how one mucin in particular, MUC7, affects the tumor microenvironment by attenuating the immune response. In keeping in line with the purpose of Scizzle, I will periodically highlight different articles covering these various topics. Hopefully this blog will be helpful to some and at least entertaining to a few. If you have any topics you would like to discuss please feel free to share as I will try to make this as interactive as possible and am open to any ideas or suggestions you might have (I feel if you want to survive in science, you kind of have to be open to new ideas, right?).

In case some of you didn’t know, this month is National Immunotherapy Month (according to NCI/NIH) so my first few articles will highlight that research field in its honor. Immunotherapy itself is a rather broad topic with various approaches including using monoclonal antibodies, neoadjuvant therapy, cancer vaccines, modifying immune cells, and trying to invoke an immune response using different agents. Below are the links to just a few papers covering different aspects of this field. If these grab your interest in immunotherapy, many great review articles can be found in Oncoimmunology, Clinical Cancer Research, and PLoS One (to name a few journals) and results are constantly being published on NCI’s webpage.