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Gideon Schreiber, PhD

Gideon Schreiber, PhD

Grant Status

Weizmann Institute of Science

Grant Type
Project Grant

Project Title
Targeting interferon signaling to improve kinase inhibitor treatment of leukemia

Tumor Types

Research Topics

Named Grant:

The Anita & Jay Kaufman Memorial Research Grant

About the Investigator:

For the last 25 years, Dr. Schreiber has adopted a multidisciplinary approach to understand basic scientific
questions and how to use the insights gained to cure disease. These range from biochemistry, to protein design and engineering, to cellular work, and experiments with small, laboratory animals. One of the systems that he investigates is interferon signaling. Interferon is one of the coordinators of our immune system and is the first line of defense in our body. As such, it was found to have major effects on cancer development.

About the Research:

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a blood cancer characterized by production of too many lymphocytes (a white blood cell). CLL is the most common leukemia in adults in Israel. It progresses slowly, eventually leading to death if not treated. Today, there are effective treatments for CLL. One of them is ibrutinib (a kinase inhibitor), which is widely used. While kinase inhibitors like ibrutinib extend the life of patients, they do not cure them.

The reason for this is that some cancer cells stay hidden and, thus, are not targeted by the drug. Preliminary work done by the Schreiber lab has shown that ibrutinib and other kinase inhibitors are much more effective combined with drugs that block the interferon pathway, which regulates the immune response. The Schreiber team plans to investigate how kinase inhibitors affect the interferon response. They will determine whether combining kinase inhibitors with treatments that block the interferon response can successfully treat CLL in a mouse model of CLL. These results will provide the basis for the design of clinical trials to determine if interferon neutralizing antibodies can deepen the clinical responses of kinase inhibitors and, perhaps, even cure patients with CLL or other blood cancers.


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