In this video interview, Dr David Braun from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, USA, discusses his innovative research in metastatic kidney cancer, which focuses on understanding and improving immunotherapies in kidney cancer.
He is working to develop novel immune-based treatments to personalise immunotherapy to overcome resistance to treatment. His work aims to better understand how the right drug can fit with the right patient. He focuses on recurrence of cancer in patients who have had a nephrectomy (which occurs in about half of these patients), and the fact that many metastatic kidney cancer patients do not benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Dr Braun is running a phase 1 clinical trial aimed at improving the success of immunotherapy for these patients. In the trial, a checkpoint inhibitor is combined with a personalised vaccine designed to recognise cancer-specific proteins, called neoantigens, that are present on the individual’s cancer cells, but not on normal cells. The personalised vaccine will help direct and focus the checkpoint inhibitor to the cancer cells.