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Theresa Whiteside

Theresa Whiteside

Program: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Hillman Cancer Center
Pittsburgh PA

Dr. Whiteside’s research interests are in tumor Immunology and immunotherapy with special focus on mechanisms of tumor-induced immunosuppression, extracellular vesicles, cytokine networks,   immunology of human head and neck cancer, melanoma, acute myelogenous leukemia and breast cancer. Her research is  focused on  mechanisms of tumor escape from the host immune system and the development of therapies designed to eliminate tumor escape. She studies the role of check point inhibitors in cancer progression. Currently she is investigating contributions  tumor derived small extracellular vesicles  or exosomes (TEX)  to promotion of  cancer progression. Specifically, mechanisms of TEX-induced apoptosis of  CD8+ effector T cells  and activation of regulatory T cells are investigated. Also,  studies are evaluating the potential of TEX in the body fluids of cancer patients to serve as “liquid cancer biopsy” in predicting  cancer progression, response  to therapy and survival.  Studies of TEX as well as subsets of EVs produced by immune cells in re-programming of the tumor microenvironment are performed using human specimens and mouse models of tumor growth. 

Research Interests and Keywords
  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • Extracellular Vesicles as Biomarkers of Cancer Progression
  • Tumor Immunology
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