Development of antibody therapies directed at the immunosuppressive microenvironment of tumors via selective targeting of TGF-β
Rapid proliferation of cancer cells within a tumor is only possible through the support of the tumorís microenvironment. Because of its fundamental role in tumor growth and metastasis, the microenvironment has become an active area of research for potential cancer therapeutics. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), a powerful growth inhibitor of epithelial cells, is found throughout the body and is overproduced in advanced tumors, where it promotes tumor growth through immunosuppression and angiogenesis.
In my research, I hope to selectively target TGF-β in the tumor microenvironment using a bispecific antibody designed to specifically bind receptors overexpressed in cancer cells. Through the development of such an agent, I hope to further elucidate the underlying biological functions of TGF-β within the tumor as well as test its efficacy as a cancer therapy.