Walter J. Urba

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The immunotherapeutic agent ipilimumab has helped address a significant unmet need in the treatment of advanced melanoma. Ipilimumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), thereby augmenting antitumor immune responses. After decades in which a number of clinical trials were conducted, ipilimumab was the(More)
Recent investigations of the tumor microenvironment have shown that many tumors are infiltrated by inflammatory and lymphocytic cells. Increasing evidence suggests that the number, type and location of these tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in primary tumors has prognostic value, and this has led to the development of an ‘immunoscore. As well as providing(More)
BACKGROUND In vivo studies have recently demonstrated that interleukin 21 (IL-21) enhances the anti-tumor function of T-cells and NK cells in murine tumor models, and the combined use of IL-21 and IL-15 has resulted in prolonged tumor regression and survival in mice with previously established tumors. However, the combined anti-tumor effects of IL-21 and(More)
Autophagy is a process of packaging mis-folded proteins and damaged organelles in the autophagosomes and degrading them through fusion with lysosomes. During the early development of cancer, autophagy can serve as a tumor suppression mechanism, since it clears abnormal proteins and limits genome damage. Autophagy becomes a mechanism of tumor promotion at(More)
BACKGROUND High-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been FDA-approved for over 20 years, but it is offered only at a small number of centers with expertise in its administration. We analyzed the outcomes of patients receiving high-dose IL-2 in relation to the severity of toxicity to ascertain if response or survival were adversely affected. METHODS A(More)
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC (formerly the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer, iSBTc), aims to improve cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science, development and application of biological therapy and immunotherapy. The society and its educational programs have become premier destinations for interaction and(More)
BACKGROUND Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) has shown great promise in melanoma, with over 50 % response rate in patients where autologous tumor-reactive tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) can be cultured and expanded. A major limitation of ACT is the inability to generate or expand autologous tumor-reactive TIL in 25-45 % of patients tested. Methods that(More)
Autophagy regulates innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens and tumors. We have reported that autophagosomes derived from tumor cells after proteasome inhibition, DRibbles (Defective ribosomal products in blebs), were excellent sources of antigens for efficient cross priming of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells, which mediated regression of established(More)