|Adjunct Associate Member
|858.597.3843 - phone
858.597.3804 - fax
Our research focus is to develop new and effective immunotherapy approaches targeting angiogenesis in solid tumors of different types of cancer. Immunotherapy is an approach to treat cancer that harnesses our own immune system. White blood cells called T cells are taught to recognize proteins on the surface of tumor cells, which they use to bind to and kill cancer cells, while sparing normal cells. However, there are limitations to this approach; the tumors can be inaccessible to T cells, and tumor cells can stop expressing the targeted protein. If this happens, the tumor becomes resistant to T cell attack. To circumvent these problems, our goal is to develop therapeutic approaches involving the immune system, targeting in a specific manner solid tumor vessels instead of the tumor cells.
Dr. Brigitte Dudouet’s laboratory is developing cancer vaccines that target the established prostate tumour vasculature. Angiogenesis is a process by which new vessels arise from the pre-existing vasculature. It is a required step for prostate tumour and metastasis growth, which gives strong therapeutic value to any agents targeting this process. Tumour blood vessels express characteristic markers (Tumour Endothelial Markers or TEMs), that are absent from normal vessels, and these can be used as targets for immunotherapy strategies. Dr. Dudouet‘s laboratory has developed dendritic cell-based vaccines composed of autologous dendritic cells pulsed ex vivo with the tumour endothelial markers of interest. These vaccines are currently being tested in pre-clinical animal models for prostate cancer, such as the TRAMP mice (Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of the Mouse Prostate). If the preclinical models show them to be effective and non-toxic, these vaccines can be brought to clinical trials. The long-term goal of this study is to develop novel, well tolerated, and effective vaccines for prostate cancer that will reduce the need for chemotherapy, improve patients’ quality of life, and prolong survival.
Dr. Dudouet earned her Pharm. D. (Pharmaceutical Degree-Specialization Medical Biology) in 1979 from La Timone School of Pharmacy, University of Aix-Marseille II, France. Between 1979 and 1981, she completed her studies in Marine Pharmacology/Organic Chemistry at the Oceanographic Center of Marseille, Lumigny University, and the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles of Gif sur Yvette, Paris. Between 1981 and 1985, she held a position of Assistant Professor (Clinical Biology/Biochemistry) at the (CHU) University and Hospital Complex of St Antoine, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris VI, teaching and pursuing research in biochemistry at St Antoine Medical School, while having the function of deputy director of the medical biochemistry laboratory of the Rotshild Hospital (Paris). In 1985, Dr. Dudouet joined the Pasteur Institute (Paris) and obtained a tenure position of scientist in the Cellular Biology department. She devoted her time to basic and clinical research on colorectal cancer from 1985 to 1994. She earned her Ph.D. in Immunology from Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris VI in 1992. She moved to United States in July 1994 and worked as a visiting scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute and UCSD between 1994 and 1998 and specialized in innate immunity and cancer vaccine. In 1998, after a brief return to the Pasteur Institute, she joined The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center as a scientist and resigned from her tenure position at the Pasteur Institute in 1999. Her research focus was mainly on cancer, cancer vaccine, angiogenesis and tumor vascular targeting. Dr. Dudouet joined the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies as a Principal Investigator (Associate Member) in June 2006.