The mission of the UCSF Immunoprofiler is to coordinate the handling of valuable human biopsy samples taken from cancer patients, and to perform a series of tests for immune composition, immune cell gene expression, and immune interaction biology. We propose that cancers are discrete forms of immunopathologies. By understanding the nature of the immune response, we will determine how to treat cancers and provide new targets for the next round of immunotherapies. Beyond organizing ourselves into a cohesive and collaborative research consortium, our program emphasizes handling biopsy samples in a non-destructive manner and seeks to be a flexible platform that can include new assays, technologies, and research partners. The UCSF Immunoprofiler is emerging as an open-source pipeline and data repository for analysis.
The goals of the UCSF Immunoprofiler are multiple. To assist in current therapies, our data will correlate immune measures with analysis of tumor driver and passenger mutations, overall outcomes and responses in clinical trials. We aim that UCSF Immunoprofiler will permit researchers to make associations of immunopathologies with other metrics, across projects, across tumor subtypes and even across tumor types. A second area of research is to develop novel processing methods to understand and test immune functions and responses to therapy, using a biopsy itself. A final major thrust of our work is to define targets for the next round of therapies. We expect diagnostic, prognostic and novel treatments to emerge under this initiative.