Heather Anne McDonald

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The RNase III endonuclease Dicer plays a key role in generation of microRNAs (miRs). We hypothesized that Dicer regulates cancer cell susceptibility to immune surveillance through miR processing. Indeed, Dicer disruption up-regulated intercellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and enhanced the susceptibility of tumor cells to antigen-specific lysis by(More)
PURPOSE A variety of cancers, including malignant gliomas, overexpress transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), which helps tumors evade effective immune surveillance through a variety of mechanisms, including inhibition of CD8(+) CTLs and enhancing the generation of regulatory T (T(reg)) cells. We hypothesized that inhibition of TGF-beta would improve(More)
Stimulation of double-stranded (ds)RNA receptors can increase the effectiveness of cancer vaccines, but the underlying mechanisms are not completely elucidated. In this study, we sought to determine critical roles of host IFN-α and IFN-γ pathways in the enhanced therapeutic efficacy mediated by peptide vaccines and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid(More)
PURPOSE We hypothesized that the type 1 IFNs would play a pivotal role in antiglioma immunosurveillance through promotion of type 1 adaptive immunity and suppression of immunoregulatory cells. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN We induced de novo gliomas in Ifnar1(-/-) (deficient for type 1 IFN receptors) or wild-type mice by intracerebroventricuar transfection of NRas(More)
Type-1 T cells are critical for effective anti-tumor immune responses. The recently discovered microRNAs (miRs) are a large family of small regulatory RNAs that control diverse aspects of cell function, including immune regulation. We identified miRs differentially regulated between type-1 and type-2 T cells, and determined how the expression of such miRs(More)
We investigated the protein expression of three glioma-associated antigens (GAAs) in pediatric brain stem glioma (BSG) and non-brain stem glioma (NBSG) cases with a view to their possible use in immunotherapy. Expression of EphA2, IL-13Rα2 and Survivin were studied by immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded tissues using a series of 15 BSG cases and 12(More)
In an attempt to develop effective vaccines against central nervous system (CNS) tumors, we evaluated the ability of vaccines with standard dendritic cells (DC) versus type 1 polarizing DCs (DC1) to induce glioma-specific type 1 CTLs with CNS tumor-relevant homing properties and the mechanism of their action. C57BL/6 mouse-derived bone marrow cells were(More)
Purpose: A variety of cancers, including malignant gliomas, overexpress transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), which helps tumors evade effective immune surveillance through a variety of mechanisms, including inhibition of CD8 CTLs and enhancing the generation of regulatory T (Treg) cells. We hypothesized that inhibition of TGF-β would improve the efficacy(More)