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Cheryl Helgason, PhD, Senior Research Scientist

Editorial Board Member

"Dr. Cheryl has done his PhD in Biochemistry from University of Alberta, and MSc in Biochemistry from University of Saskatchewan and BSc in Hons. Biochemistry from University of Saskatchewan Despite intensive research to identify tumor associated antigens and to devise novel strategies to enhance anti-tumor immune responses, clinical trials using immunotherapy have generally yielded disappointing results. There is a wealth of data to support the concept of tumor immunosurveillance that encompasses a preliminary elimination of the majority of the tumor cells, followed by an equilibrium phase in which the remaining cells acquire additional genetic alterations that ultimately lead to their escape from immune destruction. The basic premise of this model is that pressures from the innate and adaptive immune systems force the tumor cells to alter their properties or face elimination. Understanding the mechanisms by which tumors interact with the immune system and evade immune destruction will facilitate the development of more effective immunotherapeutic strategies for cancer treatment and ultimately perhaps cancer prevention. To this end, my laboratory has two current research interests."