Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and the Effects on Anti-Tumor Response - Daniel Petrylak

Dr. Daniel Petrylak describes what an immune checkpoint inhibitor is and how this may effect an anti-tumor response.  The immune system has several key attributes- it is specific, it has a memory and it can adapt to changes that are going on with tumor cells.  He goes on to describe the mechanisms involved in the cancer cells response.  (presentation in 2:40). 

BIOGRAPHY 
As Professor of Medicine and Urology at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Daniel P. Petrylak is a pioneer in the research and development of new drugs and treatments to fight prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular cancer. For patients fighting these types of cancers, Petrylak finds recent developments in the field of immunotherapy particularly promising. “Up until recently, bladder cancer had not seen any major advancement in more than 30 years,” he says. “Studies are ongoing, but interim results are exciting so far.”

At the Smilow Cancer Hospital, Dr. Petrylak’s position as a national leader on clinical trials for men with prostate and bladder cancer has opened up a world of treatment options for patients in New England. “We offer the latest investigational drugs for these conditions, while providing the highest level of care,” he says.

Dr. Petrylak received his MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and joined the Yale faculty in 2012. In addition to his role as professor, he is also the co-director of the Signal Transduction Research Program at Yale Cancer Center, which studies how cancer stem cells are regulated in the body and communicate with surrounding tissue. Roughly 40 physicians and scientists in the program work together to develop the best methods for matching patients with the appropriate cancer drugs.

One of Dr. Petrylak’s key goals is to continue to successfully translate basic research into clinical practice. “One of the most significant accomplishments in my career was moving docetaxel (an antineoplastic agent) therapy for the most advanced form of prostate cancer from phase I to III,” he says. “We ran a trial which supported its approval for the most advanced form of prostate cancer.”

Dr. Petrylak currently serves as either the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on seven Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) clinical trials for genitourinary cancers. To date, he has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles on prostate and bladder cancer research.