Director Freimann Life Science Center
Research Associate Professor Biological Sciences
University of Notre Dame
Email: Mark Suckow
Office: 400 Galvin Life Sciences
Mark Suckow’s laboratory is working to develop and define cancer vaccines which are produced from harvested tumor tissue and therefore include an enormous menu of relevant targets for the immune system. The research aims to overcome barriers to the success of vaccination (immunotherapy) as a therapeutic option for cancer that avoids the adverse side effects of chemotherapy. Present limits to immunotherapy likely are related to the limited antigenic targets included in most vaccines, allowing tumors to evolve resistance.
Using “tissue vaccines” produced from tumor tissue, the researchers have demonstrated in animal models that it is possible to prevent 90 percent of prostate cancer and reduce the incidence of metastasis by 70 percent. They have demonstrated similar results for treatment of melanoma and started developing a tissue vaccine for ovarian cancer. One mouse model experiment demonstrated that a vaccine produced from a rat-derived tumor inhibited the growth of tumors from a human prostate cancer cell line. Future work aims to identify particularly immunogenic components of the vaccine so vaccine preparations can be standardized.