Awards, Honors, and Grants

November 10, 2020

Chiocca, Reardon Awarded $14.4M NCI Grant for Glioblastoma Project

Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD David Reardon, MD

Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and David Reardon, MD, clinical director of Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center (DFBCC), received a $14.4 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) Program project grant for their study, “Understanding and Overcoming T Cell Immunosuppression in Glioblastoma.”

The grant will fund team-science research on how to improve the body’s immune cell recognition and destruction of glioblastoma cells. Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest cancers, with prior studies indicating the cancer’s multiple immunosuppressive mechanisms and significant ability to deplete lymphocytes and T cells as roadblocks to therapeutic efficacy.

Brigham investigators contributing to the project include:

  • Ana Anderson, PhD, Department of Neurology
  • Vijay Kuchroo, DVM, PhD, Department of Neurology
  • Arlene Sharpe, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology
  • Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology
  • Cathy Wu, MD, DF/BWCC

Other key investigators for this grant include: Gordon Freeman, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI); Mario Suva, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital; Donna Neuberg, ScD, of DFCI; and Orr Ashenberg, PhD, of the Broad Institute and MIT.

In his lab, Chiocca focuses on developing novel genetic therapies for malignant brain tumors and researches the engineering of viruses that can kill tumor cells without affecting normal brain cells. In addition to his role at the Brigham, Chiocca is the Harvey W. Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and the surgical director in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Center for Neuro-Oncology.

As a physician-scientist, Reardon seeks to improve the outcome for brain tumor patients through cutting-edge immunotherapy research that involves evaluation of promising investigational agents in clinical trials for patients, as well as relevant animal models in the laboratory. Apart from his role as clinical director of Neuro-Oncology, Reardon is a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The NCI is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training. Established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health, one of 11 agencies that make up the Department of Health and Human Services.