September 21, 2018

Martin Cannon, Ph.D.

Cancer Institute Member
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
UAMS College of Medicine

Research Interest Statement

Our laboratory at UAMS has a strong translational focus, with the goal of developing new treatments based on dendritic cell (DC) vaccination for ovarian cancer. Recent clinical observations have shown that Th17 T lymphocyte infiltration is associated with markedly improved overall survival. Based on this, we designed a novel approach to DC vaccination, in which DC are programmed to direct tumor antigen–specific responses toward Th17 responses.

In collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, we recently completed a Phase I clinical trial of Th17-inducing DC vaccination in stage IIIC/IV ovarian cancer patients following surgery and chemotherapy. Interim analysis (n = 19 subjects) showed that Th17-inducing DC vaccination incurred minimal toxicity and induced immune responses that correlate with recurrence-free survival.

These results are encouraging, but immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment presents a barrier to immunotherapy, including DC vaccination. In partnership with Dr. Jia Liu, our research seeks to alleviate immune suppression by ovarian tumor-associated myeloid cells through targeted treatments, including a novel oncolytic myxomavirus that stimulates innate immune responses and reverses myeloid cell suppression of anti-tumor T cell responses. Further studies will advance clinical development of oncolytic myxomavirus therapy combined with Th17-inducing DC vaccination in ovarian cancer patients.

Peer-Reviewed Grants

CD206-targeted alleviation of immune suppression by ovarian tumor-associated macrophages
07/01/2017 – 06/30/2019

5 P50 CA136393-08 REVISED
Th17-inducing vaccine strategies for preventing progression of ovarian cancer
09/11/2015 – 08/31/2020

*cancer-related annual direct costs

Dr. Cannon’s UAMS Collaborators

Jia Liu, PhD (Microbiology & Immunology)

Aime Franco, PhD (Physiology & Biophysics)

Alan Tackett, PhD (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

Tom Kieber-Emmons, PhD and BJ Karbassi, PhD (Pathology)

Eric Siegel, MS (Biostatistics)

Dr. Cannon’s External Collaborators

Keith Knutson, PhD (Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL)

Matthew Block, MD, PhD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN)

George Martin, PhD (Riptide Bioscience, Vallejo, CA)

Opportunities for Collaboration

We are always open to new ideas, and we always encourage and support new projects and new investigators.

You Might not Know that …

To clear the mind, I take the stairs in the Cancer Institute – 100 floors at a time!

Recent Cancer-Related Publications

Cannon, M.J., Goyne, H., Stone, P.J.B., MacDonald, L.J., James, L.E., Cobos, E., Chiriva-Internati, M. 2013. Modulation of p38 MAPK signaling enhances dendritic cell activation of human CD4+ Th17 responses to ovarian tumor antigen. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 62:839-849.

Goyne, H.E., Cannon, M.J. 2013. Dendritic cell vaccination, immune regulation and clinical outcomes in ovarian cancer. Frontiers in Immunology, 4:382.

Goyne, H.E., Stone P.J.B., Burnett, A.F., Cannon, M.J. 2014. Ovarian tumor ascites CD14+ cells promote CD4+ T cell migration and suppress tumor antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses through IL-10 secretion and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. J. Immunotherapy 37:163-169.

Nounamo, B., Liem, J., Blair, S., Cannon, M.J., Liu, J. 2017. Replicating myxomavirus optimizes cisplatin for the treatment of ovarian cancer in vitro and metastatic tumor in vivo. Mol. Therapy Oncolytics 6:90-99.

Lamichhane, P., Karyampudi, L., Shreeder, B., Krempski, J., Bahr, D., Daum, J., Kalli, K.R., Goode, E.L., Block, M.S., Cannon, M.J., Knutson, K.L. 2017. IL-10 release upon PD-1 blockade sustains immunosuppression in ovarian cancer. Cancer Res. 77:6667-6678.