Cancer Therapeutics & Host Response Aims


  • Aim 1.     Develop novel immunotherapies for refractory cancer.

The group elucidates new insights into tumor immunobiology and mechanisms of immune evasion that can be exploited to develop novel and effective immunotherapeutic strategies targeting refractory malignancies.

  • Aim 2.     Elucidate microbiome function in cancer development and therapeutics.

CTHR studies the interactions between bacteria and host in cancer pathogenesis, the ways the microbiota modulate the anti-tumor efficacy of various chemotherapeutic compounds and immunotherapeutic agents, and how microbiota and host interact in the complications of cancer therapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) such as graft vs host disease (GVHD).

  • Aim 3. Identify and validate targeted therapeutics engaging key cancer pathways and to translate discoveries into new clinical trials.

CTHR aims to discover antineoplastic properties of natural products, identify new “druggable” targets and develop synthetic compounds that interact with key cancer pathways to guide new clinical trials.

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.