Tumor Immunology

Another theme of the University of Florida Prostate Disease Center involves research exploring the immune response in the tumor microenvironment. The goal of this program is to develop and evaluate novel and targeted treatment strategies with direct clinical applications to cancer management. Dr. Kusmartsev was the first to demonstrate the existence and immunosuppressive activity of myeloid cellular subsets (MSC) capable of inhibiting T-cell responses and inducing profound immunosuppression. Dr. Daaka’s group is conducting research aimed at elucidating role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in cancer cell invasion and metastasis as well as in tumor angiogenesis. The goal here is to identify and use vascular directed, small molecule inhibitors including antiangiogenic agents that inhibit new tumor blood vessel formation, and vascular disrupting agents that seek to destroy existing tumor vasculature.