The Spranger lab will examine how the makeup of patients’ immune microenvironments, in which a tumor grows, contributes to the response to cancer immunotherapy treatment. Some cancer patients respond significantly well to treatment with immunotherapy while others see little to no therapeutic effect. For example, approximately 20 to 40 percent of melanoma or lung cancer patients and only 2 percent of pancreatic cancer patients benefit from a type of immunotherapy that is effective in many other cancer types. To gain a comprehensive understanding of how the immunological state of patients influences therapeutic effectiveness, I will examine organ-specific immune environments and prior exposure to immune-modulatory conditions such as asthma or the flu, and their impact on the success of therapy. Using genetically engineered mouse models of lung and pancreatic cancer in combination with models of influenza and dust mite-induced asthma, my group will tease out the contribution of different immune effectors in responses to immunotherapy. This work will not only offer additional information on the underlying mechanism of the anti-tumor immune response, but also enable the development of personalized approaches for using immunotherapy as a treatment for cancer.