- Understand tumor immunology and develop novel immunotherapies for refractory cancer. Through this aim the group will elucidate new insights into tumor immuno-biology and mechanisms of immune evasion that can be exploited to develop novel and effective immunotherapeutic strategies targeting refractory malignancies.
- Elucidate microbiome function in cancer development and therapeutics. This aim studies the interactions between bacteria and host in cancer pathogenesis, the ways bacteria modulate the anti-tumor efficacy of various chemotherapeutic compounds and immunotherapeutic agents, and how microbiota and host interact in complications of cancer therapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation.
- Identify and validate targeted therapeutics engaging key cancer pathways with small molecules and to test new therapies in clinical trials. This aim plans to discover antineoplastic properties of natural products, identify new “druggable” targets and develop synthetic compounds that interact with key pathways known to be drivers of cancer biology.
The goal of CTHR program development and future plans is to improve outcomes of the most common cancers in our catchment area, as outlined in the UFHCC strategic plan. In this narrative, we highlight research studies and trials of lung, breast, colorectal and pediatric cancer, as well as leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. The University of Florida now serves as a center for basic and clinical brain tumor research and a destination site for clinical brain tumor treatment for the entire state of Florida, with patients also traveling from out of state and internationally to enroll on novel immunotherapy trials. The brain tumor center extends the impact of UFHCC to the national and international level.