Authored by: George M. Pikler, M.D., Ph.D., FACP
Researchers have discovered a gene – TBK1 — that helps tumors to resist immunotherapy. Deleting this gene, or blocking the protein that it encodes, made tumors more vulnerable to immune attack in mouse and human-derived tumor models. “Using a suite of genetic and pharmacologic tools across multiple experimental model systems, we confirm a role for TBK1 as an immune evasion gene,” the researchers report. “Taken together, our results demonstrate that targeting TBK1 is a novel and effective strategy to overcome resistance to cancer immunotherapy.”
Yi Sun. et al. Nature 2023, 12 January; 615: 158-167
George M.Pikler, M.D., Ph.D., FACP
Lead Oncology Advocate N1X10
Dr. Pikler graduated summa cum laude from the Central University of Ecuador School of Medicine in 1968. His postdoctoral training included an internship in internal medicine at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, a residency in internal medicine and a doctoral degree in molecular medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The American Cancer Society awarded him a fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at M.D. Anderson & Tumor Institute in Houston, TX.
With training certifications in internal medicine and oncology, Dr. Pikler and his family moved to Tulsa, OK where he established and was the President of Cancer Specialists, Inc, a boutique oncology-hematology clinical research private practice. In addition, he was the chief of the oncology at Hillcrest Medical Center, a teaching hospital for 20 years and associate professor of medicine, oncology-hematology at the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Medical College. He was one of the founders of the Southern Association of Oncology Practices and subsequently the National Medical Director for the International Oncology Network, AmerisourceBergen’s Oncology Division.