Dr. Jeffrey Schlom is the Chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He directs a translational research program focusing on the design and development of new cancer immunotherapies and immunotherapeutic strategies. The program takes advantage of the latest advances in genomics and immunology through hypothesis-generating preclinical research and translates these findings into paradigm-shifting science-based clinical trials. Novel immunotherapies designed or developed in this program include therapeutic cancer vaccines, monoclonal antibodies that can “remove the brakes” on the immune system (i.e., checkpoint inhibitors), and other immune modulators that activate the immune system. Dr. Schlom’s studies have shown that when two or more immune-based therapies are used in combination, each agent can activate different arms of the immune system, leading to enhanced anti-tumor activity without compounding toxicities. Emphasis is placed on the development of “off the shelf” therapeutics that can be widely distributed and evaluated at multiple cancer research centers.
Dr. Schlom’s program employs the principle that immunotherapy regimens should also be part of an Immuno-Oncology platform. His studies have shown that when immunotherapies are used with so-called “non-immune”‒based therapies, such as certain chemotherapeutic agents, small molecule targeted therapeutics, hormonal therapies, or radiation, tumors are rendered more susceptible to immune-mediated attack, resulting in improved anti-tumor effects. Dr. Schlom has also developed a spectrum of immune assays which interrogate numerous components of the immune system, to help identify which patients will most likely benefit from immunotherapy.
Dr. Schlom received his Ph.D. from the Waksman Institute of Rutgers University and serves on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals and committees, and has received numerous awards. He holds a wide range of patents in the areas of immunotherapy. Dr. Schlom has authored more than 700 scientific publications.