Nejat K. Egilmez, Ph.D.

Research Program

Myeloid cell-driven chronic inflammation promotes cancer.  In contrast, tumor-specific cytotoxic T-cells can mediate effective tumor kill. Our group has been investigating strategies that simultaneously target pro- and anti-tumor immune mechanisms to achieve durable tumor regression.  We have found that tissue-specific delivery of a sustained-release nanoparticulate formulation of Interleukin-10 can suppress inflammatory tumorigenesis/tumor progression.  Specifically, administration of particulate IL-10 via inhalation or oral gavage to mice with lung (LSLKras) or colon (APCmin/+Bacteroides fragilis) cancer promoted suppression of established disease via blockade of pathogenic type17 immunity and concurrent activation of antitumor cytotoxic T-cells.  Further delineation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the therapeutic activity of IL-10 in the above genetic models is underway.  Other projects in the laboratory focus on combinatorial strategies that target stromal cells in addition to immune effectors in the inflammatory cancer microenvironment to improve the efficacy of the above approach. 

Representative Publications 

  1. Gu T, De Jesus M, Gallagher HC, Burris TP and Egilmez NK.  Oral IL-10 Suppresses Colon Carcinogenesis via Elimination of Pathogenic CD4+ T-cells and Induction of Antitumor CD8+ T-cell Activity.  Oncoimmunology 2017.  In press.
  2. Li Q, Harden JL, Anderson CD and Egilmez NK.   Tolerogenic Phenotype of IFN-γ-Induced IDO+ Dendritic Cells Is Maintained via an Autocrine IDO-Kynurenine/AhR-IDO Loop.  J Immunol. 2016 Jun 17. pii: 1502615. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27316681.
  3. Ozbilge H, LeVea C, Chung AY, Li Q and Egilmez NK.  2015.  Modulating Gut Immunity and Neoplasia with Oral Cytokine Adjuvants.  Oncoimmunology, Jan 22;4(4). PMID: 26137401.
  4. Li Q, Lauren P. Virtuoso LP, Charles D. Anderson, CD and Egilmez NK. 2015.  Regulatory Rebound in Interleukin-12-treated Tumors is driven by Uncommitted Peripheral Regulatory T-cells. J. Immunol. Aug 1;195(3):1293-300.
  5. Chung AY, Li Q, Blair SJ, De Jesus M, Dennis KL, LeVea C, Yao J, Sun Y, Conway TF, Virtuoso LP, Battaglia NG, Furtado S, Mathiowitz E, Mantis NJ, Khazaie K, Egilmez NK.  2014.  Oral Interleukin-10 Alleviates Polyposis via Neutralization of Pathogenic T-Regulatory Cells.  Cancer Res. Oct 1;74(19):5377-85.