2018 LCRF Scientific Grant Program
Diane Tseng, MD, PhD
Examining tumor-infiltrating T cell functional phenotype, clonality, and antigen specificities in lung adenocarcinoma with single-cell analysis
Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of lung cancer. However, not all patients respond to treatment. A deeper understanding of the interaction between the human immune system and lung cancer is critical to improve existing therapies and to discover more effective treatments. To this end, Dr. Tseng aims to comprehensively profile the diversity of tumor-infiltrating T cells from patient lung cancer samples. T cells are immune cells that can mediate an anti-tumor response, a property that can be leveraged therapeutically. First, Dr. Tseng will adapt a novel single-cell methodology to simultaneously examine T cell specificities and functional state at unprecedented resolution. This approach will generate a map reflecting T cell diversity in lung cancer, which she will use to identify novel therapeutic targets expressed on T cells. Second, using T cell receptor sequences derived from lung cancer patients, she will apply novel methods to screen for tumor antigens that are shared across individuals. This approach will allow her to identify novel therapeutic targets displayed by cancer cells. This project will provide important insights into the basic biology of T cells in lung cancers as well as potentially identify novel immunotherapeutic targets for patients with lung cancer.