Checkpoint Inhibitors as Cancer Treatments
Recorded On: 10/15/2020
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 response. 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 Randolph-Habecker, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology
Dr. Randolph-Habecker has over 25 years of histology and pathology experience. She earned a Master’s of Science in Clinical Chemistry and Ph.D. in Pathology from The Ohio State University. After conducting independent research, Julie was the Director of Experimental Histopathology Shared Resources at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington for over 13 years. She has collaborated in many areas including cancer, infectious disease, chronic illnesses, stem cell biology, and developmental biology and has worked extensively with human tissue as well as samples from many model organisms including rodent, canine, non-human primate, and complex xenografts. Julie’s expertise is in immunohistochemistry ranging from antibody optimization and validation to complex multiplexing. 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. Currently she is an Associate Professor of pathology at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and adjunct professor at Heritage University. Julie teaches pathophysiology, pathology, histology, and physiology to medical and nursing students. She is also involved in establishing histopathology resources in low resource areas.