Checkpoint Inhibitors as Cancer Treatments

Recorded On: 09/16/2021

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The immune system has developed many mechanisms to activate robust immune responses. There are also very powerful mechanisms to dampen and control that response in order to protect against a damaging and excessive immune reactions. These dampening systems include immune checkpoint proteins like PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA-4. These proteins are important to promote self-tolerance by suppressing the activity of T cells and protect against autoimmune responses. Some malignancies have been shown to hijack these checkpoint pathways and “put the brakes on” the immune response so the tumor can evade immune destruction. Therapies, utilizing monoclonal antibodies, have been developed to “release the brakes” on these immune cells and allow the immune response to continue. This therapeutic approach has revolutionized cancer immunotherapy for several tumor types. This session will focus on the role of the immune system in the control of tumors and how tumors can diminish this response. We will then explore novel immunotherapies that allow for a return to a functioning immune response. Importantly, we will talk about the histopathology testing required to determine if these treatments will be beneficial to a patient and monitor if they are effective.

CEUs: This histology course is worth 1 continuing education credit. Course is available for 365 days from date of purchase.   

Julie Habecker, PhD

Professor, Chief of Pathology

Dr. Randolph-Habecker has over 25 years of histology and pathology experience. She earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Chemistry and Ph.D. in Pathology from The Ohio State University. Julie did her postdoctoral work in Transplantation Biology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle before transitioning to the Director of Experimental Histopathology Shared Resources for over 13 years. She is now an Associate Professor of Pathology at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. She has collaborated in many areas including cancer, infectious disease, chronic illnesses, vaccine development, stem cell biology, and developmental biology. In addition to her research pathology knowledge, she also has extensive experience in the laboratory operations, supervision of staff, study design, sample acquisition, and data analysis. Julie has a long history of providing training and educational opportunities for learners ranging from grade school to undergraduate and postgraduate level, including physicians, scientists, technicians, non-scientific staff, patients and their families, and the community. Dr. Randolph-Habecker has also contributed to the implementation of a histopathology infrastructure in low resource and medically underserved areas.


Checkpoint Inhibitors as Cancer Treatments
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Learning Objectives: 1) Describe how the immune system controls cancer. 2) Describe how cancer cells can subvert the immune response. 3) Discuss the pathologic testing required to determine if checkpoint inhibitors could be a viable treatment for a cancer patient.
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Checkpoint Inhibitors as Cancer Treatments
1.00 CEUs credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CEUs credit  |  Certificate available