One interest of Dr. Malcolm Brenner’s research is in the field of tumor immunology. Tumor cells that have been genetically modified to express immunostimulatory genes will induce effective anti-tumor responses in a range of syngeneic animal models.
Dr. Malcolm Brenner has compared the relative immunostimulatory and anti tumor potency of autologous and allogeneic tumor vaccines in children with advanced neuroblastoma and in adult with acute and chronic leukemia. Recipients of both autologous and allogeneic vaccines showed evidence of local immunity but the autologous vaccine showed more potent systemic activity. In follow up studies, the immunogenicity of the tumor cells was increased by transducing them with a combination of lymphotactin, a T lymphocyte chemotaxin, and IL2, to amplify the response of tumor specific T cells attracted to the site of tumor inoculation. This approach has been extended to individuals with minimal residual disease. Similar studies are also underway in patients with acute and chronic leukemia. Dr. Malcolm Brenner’s laboratory is also using molecular techniques to increase the effectiveness of cytotoxic T cell killing of tumor cells.
Dr. Malcolm Brenner is Associate Editor of Blood and of Molecular Therapy and the Principal Investigator or Co-investigator on 5 NIH grants.