T.-C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D.
Keywords: Cervical cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV), DNA vaccines
We are currently developing vaccines and immunotherapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical cancer. Each year, approximately 500,000 women worldwide develop cervical cancer and 200,000 die. More than 99% of cervical cancer specimens contain HPV genomes, particularly type 16 and 18, and the viral transforming proteins, E6 and E7, are consistently expressed in cervical cancer cell lines and HPV- associated neoplasms. Thus, E6 and E7 represent true tumor-specific antigens and allow for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies to combat HPV-associated cancers.
The activity of antigen-specific T cells is known to be crucial in combating cancer. To enhance T cell-mediated immunity, we have focused on enhancing antigen processing and presentation by dendritic cells using intracellular targeting strategies and strategies to prolong the life of dendritic cells. Intracellular targeting directs antigen to different subcellular locations to enhance the quality of antigen processing and presentation. Meanwhile, strategies to prolong the life of DCs may further increase the number of activated T cells and thus increase the interaction between dendritic cells and T cells. The continued development of these strategies will facilitate the development of ideal vaccines that generate potent immune responses and antitumor effects against cancer. We are also actively involved with investigating mechanisms of tumor evasion, identifying new tumor-specific antigens, and applying our vaccine strategies to other cancer systems with tumor-specific antigens (i.e. breast cancer, ovarian cancer, etc.) These endeavors are in the forefront of translational research and would be valuable to those interested in the role of viral infection, pathogenesis, molecular immunology, tumor immunology, and tumor evasion.
Publications and Interests: https://jhu.pure.elsevier.com/en/persons/tzyy-choou-wu