Dan Spakowicz, PhD

Dan Spakowicz, PhD

The Ohio State University

Research Project:
Adenosine as a Mediator of Tumor and Tumor-Microbiome Interactions in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Grant Awarded:

  • Innovation Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • clinical research
  • combination therapies experimental therapeutics
  • computational biology
  • immunology immunotherapy
  • risk factors

Research Disease:

  • lung cancer

Lung cancer treatment with drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors has been effective for some patients, but over half of the treated tumors do not respond. Combination therapies, including blocking tumor signaling pathways that suppress the immune system, are a promising approach to improving outcomes.  A cell chemical called adenosine enables tumor cells to escape immune surveillance. However, our and others’ recent findings suggest that the microbiome (the collection of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live on and inside the human body) may act on adenosine’s cell signaling pathway to support or impair immune system function, depending on where the chemical is produced. We need more information about how gut and lung tumor microbiomes affect the emerging combination therapies that target adenosine signaling and immune checkpoints. Our research will provide insight into this process and may lead to improved treatment for patients with lung cancer.

Page last updated: October 3, 2023

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