John J. Powers

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PURPOSE Critical to the success of active immunotherapy against cancer is the identification of immunologically recognized cancer-specific proteins with low tolerogenic potential. Cancer testis antigens (CTA), in particular, fulfill this requirement as a result of their aberrant expression restricted to cancer cells and lack of expression in normal tissues(More)
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), a heterogeneous population of cells capable of suppressing anti-tumor T cell function in the tumor microenvironment, represent an imposing obstacle in the development of cancer immunotherapeutics. Thus, identifying elements essential to the development and perpetuation of these cells will undoubtedly improve our(More)
T cell immune dysfunction has an important role in the profound immune suppression that characterizes chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Improper polarization of T cells has been proposed as one of the mechanism involved. Mounting data implicates chromatin regulation, namely promoter methylation, in the plasticity of naïve human T cells. Recent in vitro(More)
Tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy has become the standard treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Off-target kinase inhibition has been implicated in the appearance of unique adverse effects, such as colitis and pleural effusions. In addition, some patients present oligoclonal expansions of large granular lymphocytes (LGLs). We sought to(More)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a malignancy arising from immune cells (B-lymphocytes) endowed with intrinsic antigen-presenting capabilities. Such a function however is lost during malignant transformation and CLL cells are well known for their inability to process and present antigens to the T-cell arm of the immune system. Instead, malignant CLL(More)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) represents 30% of adult leukemia. TCL1 is expressed in ~ 90% of human CLL. Transgenic expression of TCL1 in murine B cells (Eμ-TCL1) results in mouse CLL. Here we show for the first time that the previously unexplored endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response is aberrantly activated in Eμ-TCL1 mouse and human CLL. This(More)
Peptide vaccines are capable of eliciting immune responses targeting tumor-associated antigens such as the Wilms' Tumor 1 (WT1) antigen, often overexpressed in myeloid malignancies. Here, we assessed the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a polyvalent WT1 peptide vaccine. Individuals with WT1-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first (CR1) or(More)
In recent decades our understanding of immune cell activation and homeostasis has significantly expanded. Such progress helped to better define the cellular, molecular, and epigenetic networks involved in the immune response in the tumor microenvironment and renewed the enthusiasm towards the potential power of cancer immunotherapy. However, successful(More)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable disease in need of new therapeutic strategies. The immunomodulatory agent, lenalidomide, has shown activity as salvage therapy for CLL. In this phase II trial, we combined lenalidomide with rituximab in 25 patients (range, 41-79) with refractory/relapsed CLL. Lenalidomide was administered orally on(More)
Histone deacetylase 10 (HDAC10) belongs to the class IIb HDAC family and its biological role remains mostly unidentified. A decreased HDAC10 expression has been reported in patients with aggressive solid tumors (Osada et al. Int J Cancer 112: 26-32, 2004; Jin et al. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 7: 5872-5879, 2014), suggesting that loss of HDAC10 expression might(More)