Dr. Joseph Rss
University of California Los Angeles
Department of Urology
Grant Amount: $310,000
Despite advancement in targeted treatments, metastatic kidney cancer poses a therapeutic challenge due to its resistance to conventional models of treatment. As long-term survival for patients with metastatic kidney cancer remains poor, UCLA Urology’s Allan Pantuck, MD and Arie Belldegrun, MD, along with Joseph Riss, PhD, have been working for years to develop innovative methods of therapy. With the assistance of critical funding provided by the PHASE ONE Foundation, this research team developed a kidney cancer vaccine that was recently approved by the FDA and given to the first patient in February 2013. Even with this grand milestone, the researchers must now monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine, especially given the kidney tumor’s resistance to current therapeutics. With the continuous support of the PHASE ONE Foundation, Dr. Riss and his team will use previously identified indicators to develop diagnostic tools for monitoring the new treatment and aim to develop a next-generation vaccine that will combat tumor resistance in metastatic kidney cancer.