Research Type: Multiple Sites Cancer
The goal of immunotherapy for cancer is to stimulate the patients’ own immune system to find and destroy the cancer cells. Unfortunately, the tumor cells can evade immune surveillance – this makes immunotherapy less effective. Immunotherapy is a huge advance in cancer treatment but many patients do not respond to it. Dr. Fleet’s team hypothesizes that low vitamin D status alters the immune system in ways that help tumors evade immune surveillance. Through the use of mice, they will test whether low vitamin D signaling makes it harder for the immune system to attack tumor cells. This research is an early test of a simple intervention that might improve the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.