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

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



Early Probiotic Supplementation for Eczema and Asthma Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial.


Cabana MD, McKean M, Caughey AB, Fong L, Lynch S, Wong A, Leong R, Boushey HA, Hilton JF

High-Dose Abiraterone Acetate in Men With Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer.

Clinical genitourinary cancer

Friedlander TW, Graff JN, Zejnullahu K, Anantharaman A, Zhang L, Paz R, Premasekharan G, Russell C, Huang Y, Kim W, Aggarwal RR, Lin AM, Fong L, Alumkal JJ, Beer TM, Sharifi N, Alyamani M, Dittamore R, Small EJ, Paris PL, Ryan CJ

Pembrolizumab as Second-Line Therapy for Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma.

The New England journal of medicine

Bellmunt J, de Wit R, Vaughn DJ, Fradet Y, Lee JL, Fong L, Vogelzang NJ, Climent MA, Petrylak DP, Choueiri TK, Necchi A, Gerritsen W, Gurney H, Quinn DI, Culine S, Sternberg CN, Mai Y, Poehlein CH, Perini RF, Bajorin DF

Systemic Immunity Is Required for Effective Cancer Immunotherapy.


Spitzer MH, Carmi Y, Reticker-Flynn NE, Kwek SS, Madhireddy D, Martins MM, Gherardini PF, Prestwood TR, Chabon J, Bendall SC, Fong L, Nolan GP, Engleman EG