Deciphering the function of B cells in human cancer

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Assistant Professor of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh, Hillman Cancer Center
    Biography
      Tullia C. Bruno, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh and a faculty member in the Tumor Microenvironment Center and the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. She obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology from Johns Hopkins in 2010 and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado in 2015-both with a focus in tumor immunology. While Dr. Bruno's PhD training focused on inhibitory receptors on intratumoral T cells, she became interested in the role of B cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) during her postdoctoral fellowship and has built her independent research program around understanding intratumoral B cell function in multiple human cancers, in particular, lung and head and neck cancer. Dr. Bruno's research lab has an overt focus on studying immunity within cancer patients, which makes her research highly translational with the potential for future clinical trials targeting B cells. Thus, Dr. Bruno's overall research objective is to develop a B cell-specific immunotherapy in the next five to ten years.

    Abstract

    B cells have recently come into vogue as important contributors to the anti-tumor immune response in cancer patients. Specifically, B cells and the immune structures in which they reside (tertiary lymphoid structures) correlate with increased survival and immunotherapeutic response for several solid tumor types. Our research is focused on linking anti-tumor function of B cells with their location and phenotype utilizing high level immunological techniques.

    Learning objectives:

    1. Understand the importance of B cells and tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) in human cancer

    2. Define heterogeneity of B cells and TLS in human cancer

    3. Identify viable immunotherapeutics to target B cells and TLS in cancer patients


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