Prof Douglas Fearon,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
In the past, the Fearon lab had made contributions to our understanding of innate immunity, B cell signal transduction, and memory T cells.
Since 2010, its focus has been on cancer immunology, with studies of three important aspects of pancreatic cancer: the mechanism of immune suppression that allows this cancer to escape control by the immune system; cachexia, the devastating metabolic condition that often affects patients with pancreatic cancer; and latent metastatic disease, which is the ultimate reason for the failure of pancreatectomy to cure patients of this disease.
These contributions, although at a pre-clinical level, have the potential to improve the care of patients with pancreatic cancer, as is exemplified by the on-going early phase clinical trial of a new immunotherapy for this disease, which is being led by Professor Duncan Jodrell at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.