We are studying how tumor cells escape immunosurveillance, a hallmark of cancer, in aggressive lymphomas. MHCII is a protein important for immunosurveillance. We are studying the underlying mechanisms of altered regulation of MHCII in lymphoma cells and its effects on tumor immunosurveillance.
Dr. Monika Schmelz is a Assistant Professor of Pathology and Member of the University of Arizona Lymphoma Consortium. Dr. Schmelz pursuing research on mechanisms for immune escape in aggressive lymphoma with poor survival rates. Dr. Schmelz received a 2 year award (2013-2015) from The Hope Foundation to study how tumor cells escape immunosurveillance, which is a hallmark of cancer, in aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with poor patient outcome, and how immunosurveillance can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. ( see also link: http://pathology.arizona.edu/news/dr-monika-schmelz-recipient-2013-swog-development-award). Dr. Schmelz also is pursuing biorepository science. She received a multi-million dollar award for hosting the Biorepository for a NCI funded clinical trial. ANCHOR is a multi-site phase III clinical trial entitled “Topical or Ablative Treatment in Preventing Anal Cancer in Patients with HIV and Anal High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions”. 17,385 participants will be screened to identify and to enroll 5,058 eligible participants. An estimated 314,535 biospecimens over the duration of the clinical trial (8 years) will be collected and sent to Dr. Schmelz's lab. The biorepository is an extremely important factor for the outcome of this clinical trial, since correlative translational studies on biomarkers for early detection of anal cancer development in these specimens are planned by the NCI. Keywords: Cancer, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Therapeutic Biomarkers