Lawrence Fong, MD

Efim Guzik Distinguished Professor in Cancer Biology
Leader, Cancer Immunotherapy Program
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Department of Medicine
Department of Urology
+1 415 514-3160
Research Overview: 

Our lab focuses upon defining the mechanisms that underly responses to cancer immunotherapy. We have focused on approaches to prime immune responses through vaccines. Our initial work developed autologous dendritic cell vaccines targeting shared tumor associated antigens both in preclinical models and also in patients. This approach helped to lay the groundwork for the FDA-approved cancer vaccine sipuleucel-T. We have continued to study how this approach as well as approaches for endogenous vaccination with cancer therapies can serve to prime anti-tumor immune responses.

We have also focused on how immune checkpoints can modulate anti-tumor immune responses both in mouse models and in patients. This includes track immune responses through the use of MHC-peptide tetramers and next generation sequencing of antigen receptors. Through this work, we have also identified mechanisms of resistance to our current immunotherapies.  Future work will focus on identifying novel determinants of response to immunotherapies as well as novel targets for future therapies.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Research Summary: 
Mechanism of response and resistance to cancer immunotherapy


Featured Publications: 

Intratumoral CD4+ T Cells Mediate Anti-tumor Cytotoxicity in Human Bladder Cancer.


Oh DY, Kwek SS, Raju SS, Li T, McCarthy E, Chow E, Aran D, Ilano A, Pai CS, Rancan C, Allaire K, Burra A, Sun Y, Spitzer MH, Mangul S, Porten S, Meng MV, Friedlander TW, Ye CJ, Fong L

Adenosine A2A Receptor Blockade as an Immunotherapy for Treatment-Refractory Renal Cell Cancer.

Cancer discovery

Fong L, Hotson A, Powderly J, Sznol M, Heist RS, Choueiri TK, George S, Hughes BG, Hellmann MD, Shepard DR, Rini BI, Kummar S, Weise AM, Riese MJ, Markman B, Emens LA, Mahadevan D, Luke JJ, Laport G, Brody JD, Hernandez-Aya L, Bonomi P, Goldman JW, Berim L, Renouf DJ, Goodwin RA, Munneke B, Ho PY, Hsieh J, McCaffery I, Kwei L, Willingham SB, Miller RA

Abstract 2981: Clonal deletion of tumor-specific T cells by combination checkpoint blockade compromises antitumor efficacy in low tumor burden states.

Chien-Chun Steven Pai,Xiaoqing Lu,Donald Simons,Michel DuPage,Kole T. Roybal,Mingyi Chen,Serena Kwek,Amy-Jo Casbon,Gillian A. Kinsbury,Lawrence Fong

Suppression of Exosomal PD-L1 Induces Systemic Anti-tumor Immunity and Memory.


Poggio M, Hu T, Pai CC, Chu B, Belair CD, Chang A, Montabana E, Lang UE, Fu Q, Fong L, Blelloch R

Tumor-conditional anti-CTLA4 uncouples antitumor efficacy from immunotherapy-related toxicity.

The Journal of clinical investigation

Pai CS, Simons DM, Lu X, Evans M, Wei J, Wang YH, Chen M, Huang J, Park C, Chang A, Wang J, Westmoreland S, Beam C, Banach D, Bowley D, Dong F, Seagal J, Ritacco W, Richardson PL, Mitra S, Lynch G, Bousquet P, Mankovich J, Kingsbury G, Fong L