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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Martin McCarter, MD



Tumor Induced Immune Suppression


Surgical Oncology


University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora



2 years of college

Openings: 1


To investigate how melanoma usurps the native immune response and creates an environment that suppresses the inherent immune reaction to a tumor. Develop treatments designed to overcome the tumor induced immunosuppression.


Our laboratory is interested in understanding how tumors evade the usual immune response to tumor cells.  The model employed examines how melanoma conditioned media (just the secreted products from melanoma or any tumor for that matter) alters the make-up of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells. We have described melanoma's ability to induce regulatory T cells and a newer population of myeloid derived suppressor cells. The project is in the process of trying to identify what products are produced by the tumor cells that can have this effect on the immune system.  We intend to do the same analysis in patients who already have melanoma.  The student will work with members of the lab to learn techniques used in cell culture, isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells, flow cytometry and ELISA as well as interpretation, analysis, and presentation of data.


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