Venu Pillarisetty lab

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This week we profile a recent publication in Gut from Drs. Kevin Sullivan (pictured, second from right), Xiuyun Jiang (left), Y. David Seo (right), and the laboratory of Dr. Venu Pillarisetty (second from left) at UW, the Institute for Systems Biology, the Brotman Baty Institute, and Fred Hutch.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

The goal of the UW TIME (Tumor Immune MicroEnvironment) Lab is to develop a precise understanding of the nature of the adaptive immune response to solid tumors, in order to develop effective immunotherapies. While much of our work focuses on pancreatic and colorectal carcinoma, we are particularly interested in shedding light on aspects of tumor biology that reach across many tumor types. Our central goal is to address is how the immunosuppressive microenvironment created by solid tumors can be altered to enable reactivation of endogenous T cell responses.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

This publication makes use of our robust human tumor slice culture platform to define the role of IL-10 in driving intratumoral immunosuppression in colorectal cancer liver metastases. We demonstrate that blocking IL-10 can activate antitumor immunity in the majority of these tumors and this suggests that therapeutic strategies aimed at interrupting IL-10 signaling have clinical potential.

What are the next steps for this research?

Since IL-10 has variable effects on different cell types (i.e., macrophages vs. T cells), we are working with collaborators to develop macrophage-specific IL-10 blocking drugs.

If you’d like us to mention your funding sources, please list them.

Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Merck Investigator Studies Program, Cancer Research Institute, Seattle Translational Tumor Research, Brotman Baty Institute, American Cancer Society

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