American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant Awarded to William Donelan, PhD and Sergei Kusmartsev, PhD

doctors donelan and kusmartsev looking at reserach on their computer. they are dressed in white doctors lab coats in their research lab
Pictured Left to Right: Dr. Sergei Kusmartsev & Dr. William Donelan

We are pleased to announce that William Donelan, PhD, and his mentor Sergei Kusmartsev, PhD, have received an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant to develop novel antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of bladder cancer.

The proposed research involves targeting Hyal2, an enzymatic protein that contributes to tumor-associated immune suppression, using both full-length and single-chain antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) in combination with anti-PD1 antibodies. The study will evaluate the efficacy of these treatments for bladder tumors in syngeneic murine bladder tumor models and aims to provide insight into the potential of Hyal2-targeted ADCs. 

Bladder cancer is one of the most lethal urologic cancers in adults and is a leading cause of genitourinary cancer-related mortality. While checkpoint inhibitors targeting the PD1/PD-L1 pathway have shown promise in improving outcomes compared to existing therapies, less than half of patients with advanced disease benefit from this treatment. Therefore, there is an unmet need for novel immunotherapeutic approaches to identify new targets and improve existing therapies. The proposed preclinical study has the potential to offer a more effective and personalized treatment option for patients with bladder cancer and overcome the resistance to current immunotherapy approaches.  

We congratulate Drs. Donelan and Kusmartsev on their successful grant application and wish them the best in their research endeavors.


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