Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue, BOX 32
New York, NY 10021-6007 USA
Tel:  646 888 2200
Fax:  646 422 0492
The major objective of the New York Branch is the identification and characterization of suitable antigenic targets for antibody-based and vaccine-based immunotherapies of human cancer. The New York Branch, the smallest of the ten LICR Branches (an average of 26 staff members) utilizes a fully integrated and multidisciplinary approach, with the individual research groups - Antigen Discovery, Biochemistry, Pathology, T Cell Immunology and Serological Typing, and Clinical Trials Groups - operating in close collaboration with each other. The highly coordinated activities of the research groups, and their interactions with selected external academic and industrial research partners, are designed such that new discoveries are rapidly transferred into early phase clinical evaluation in cancer patients. The New York Branch is an integral part of the Institute's Clinical Trials Program for immunotherapy of cancer with monoclonal antibodies and vaccines.
As part of LICR's Targeted Antibody Program a series of cell surface antigens have been identified and characterized over the past decade by the New York Branch. Six antigens have been selected for early phase clinical evaluation, and clinical trials with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against those antigens are ongoing, or are soon to commence, within the LICR Clinical Trials Program. Currently, a major focus is on the generation and development of non-immunogenic human or chimeric antibody constructs for clinical evaluation. The protocols developed for the clinical study of the newer generation of antibody constructs are designed to provide the following information: pharmacokinetic and quantitative biodistribution properties, tumor localization and imaging characteristics, immunogenicity, and therapeutic activity of antibody alone and in combination with, or as a carrier of, cytotoxic agents.
As part of LICR's Cancer Vaccine Program, the discovery and characterization of new targets is a continuing objective of the Branch with particular emphasis on gene products having characteristics of cancer /testis (CT) antigens. In addition, the Branch's research groups provide critical laboratory support to clinical investigators within the Branch or affiliated with the Institute's Clinical Trials Program in order to monitor, optimize, and characterize the immune responses to cancer vaccines. The Antigen Discovery and Pathology Groups perform the antigen typing of tumors to determine the potential eligibility of a patient to participate in clinical trials, the Biochemistry Group generates monitoring agents, and the T Cell Immunology and Serological Typing Group monitors humoral and cellular immune responses of patients enrolled in the cancer vaccine trials.
The Branch is involved in the immunological monitoring for nearly all clinical trials performed under the auspices of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) which was established in partnership with the Cancer Research Institute (New York, USA) in 2002. Furthermore, the Branch serves as immunological reference laboratory for the LICR's Clinical Trials Program, as well as a training laboratory for immunological monitoring and molecular typing techniques required for the LICR's Cancer Vaccine, and Targeted Antibody Programs.