Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Jackson Laboratory Receives $2.5M Grant to Study Influence of Host Genetics on Immunotherapy

NEW YORK – The Jackson Laboratory announced on Wednesday that it has received $2.5 million from the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research to study the influence of host genetics on response to immunotherapy.

The researchers, who are conducting the study in mice, are aiming to generate new insights on which cancer patients will respond positively to immunotherapies, based on their genetic backgrounds. The project, "Dissecting the Genetic Control of Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Cancer," has implications for how oncologists prescribe a treatment regimen, the lab noted.

JAX President and CEO Edison Liu and Associate Professor Laura Reinholdt will act as co-principal investigators of the study. They will use genetically diverse JAX mouse models to elucidate the relationship between genetics and response to immunotherapies. The project will examine four different tumor lines — a melanoma tumor, a triple-negative breast cancer tumor, and two types of colon cancer tumors — which were chosen to represent a wide range of responses to immunotherapy.

"This research may one day allow doctors to use genetic sequencing to predict patient response to immunotherapy, as well as help scientists develop more effective anti-cancer drugs that fight tumors by activating an immune response," Liu said in a statement.

"This project is providing a unique opportunity to harness natural genetic variation in laboratory mice to more accurately model the biological complexity of cancer treatment response. The power of these genetically diverse mouse strains is that they facilitate genetic discovery and they provide tractable in vivo systems for dissecting molecular pathways, which are essential for the identification of biomarkers and potentially new therapeutic targets," Reinholdt added.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.