Immune Monitoring Facility for Immunotherapy

Directors:  Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS
Kerry S. Campbell, PhD
Edna Cukierman, PhD


Manager: Alexander MacFarlane IV, PhD
[email protected]
& Phone
Reimann R488
Pricing &
Contact Alexander MacFarlane for pricing and scheduling.

In view of the need to study how immunotherapies impact the immune system in cancer patients, FCCC launched the Immune Monitoring Facility (IMF) in 2016 to provide state-of-the-art translational research support services. The IMF works directly with members of the FCCC scientific programs at the preclinical, clinical, and laboratory levels to perform immune phenotyping and functional studies on samples from patients in clinical trials. In addition to the IMF, FCCC has established a full-service pipeline to support these correlative studies through harnessing the expertise and specialized equipment housed in the FCCC Protocol Support Laboratory, Genomics Facility, High Throughput Screening Facility, Histopathology Facility, Clinical Pathology Department, Biosample Repository, and Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Facility. 

The IMF processes fresh blood, bone marrow, or lymph node samples from patients and analyzes these samples for expression of numerous immune biomarkers using 14-color multiparametric flow cytometry. In addition, flow cytometry provides the IMF with the capacity to sort high-purity immune cell subpopulations or tumor cells for further study (function, genetic analysis, etc.). The ongoing correlative studies are determining changes in immune phenotype and function between pre- and post-treatment samples from patients.  The goal is to identify biomarkers that could predict beneficial responses to immunotherapies in these patients, as well as to identify potential targets for additional immune therapy intervention.  In addition, the IMF is adopting and developing new technologies and assays to achieve these goals.  Any remaining blood, plasma, and tissue samples are cryopreserved for future studies.

Currently, the IMF is processing samples for six investigator-initiated immunotherapy clinical trials at FCCC and collaborating institutions.  Support for IMF operations is derived from contracts with pharmaceutical/biotech partners, grant-based funding from NIH and foundations, and philanthropic donations.