OCT 10, 2018 6:00 AM PDT

The Role of Vaccination for the Treatment and Prevention of Breast and Ovarian Cancers

Speaker
  • Professor of Immunology, Mayo Clinic
    Biography
      Keith L. Knutson, Ph.D., is a consultant in the Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic in Florida, where he also serves as director of the Discovery and Translation Lab's Cancer Research Program. Dr. Knutson joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in 2005 and holds the academic rank of Professor of Immunology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. Dr. Knutson is also Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program.

      Dr. Knutson received his B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Washington. He earned his Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Georgia and completed two postdoctoral fellowships in immunology, one at the University of British Columbia and the other at the University of Washington.

      Dr. Knutson is internationally recognized in the field of cancer immunology. His research focuses on the immunology and immunotherapy of breast and ovarian cancers, both the basic immunobiology and clinical translation, including clinical trials. His contributions to science include clinical development and testing of self-tumor antigen-specific vaccines in patients with breast and ovarian cancers. He currently has three FDA-approved vaccine trials underway and is principal investigator of 3 Department of Defense grants to test vaccines aimed at preventing recurrence breast cancer, including triple negative breast cancer for which there are no targeted therapies.

      Dr. Knutson is frequently invited to give presentations on his research both domestically and internationally, and he has authored numerous journal articles, abstracts and other written publications, consistently publishing in high-impact scientific journals. Additionally, he holds reviewer responsibilities for several prominent publications.

      In recognition of his work, Dr. Knutson has received many awards and honors, including the Young Investigator Award-Pharmingen, conferred by the American Association for Cancer Research, and the prestigious Howard Temin Award, conferred by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. He is also recognized as the 2017 Investigator of the Year at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida.

      In addition to his research activities, Dr. Knutson is active in education and has mentored postdoctoral fellows, research associates and medical students, among others. He holds full faculty privileges in Immunology in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

      Dr. Knutson's has several current and past memberships with professional organizations which include the Breast Cancer Research Program and the Ovarian Cancer Research Program of the United States Department of Defense, the Tumor Microenvironment Study Section of the U.S. National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review, and the Education and Training Committee for the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer. He is a Principal Investigator of the Artemis Project, National Breast Cancer Coalition, where he is leading efforts to produce prevention vaccines for breast cancer.

    Abstract

    With over 265,000 new cases per year and over 50,000 deaths, breast and ovarian cancers represent a significant health burden in the USA.  Prior work has demonstrated that CD4 helper T cell immunity is protective against recurrence of both breast and ovarian cancer.  Based on pre-existent immunity, several degenerate epitope-based vaccines have been developed targeting tumor-associated antigens such as HER2/neu and the Folate Receptor Alpha.  These vaccines demonstrate the ability to generate robust long-lived immunity and may have a role, when combined with other agents, in protecting against disease relapse.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Learn fundamentals of vaccination
    2. Learn types of antigens that are targeted with cancer vaccines.
    3. Learn clinical settings in which vaccines are being used.


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