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Researcher Spotlight: Moah Soan, DVM, PhD

Jaime Peykoff Follicular Lymphoma Fellow

Breakthrough therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies and bispecific antibodies have transformed the care of patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) such that many patients now experience deep and meaningful remissions. A common problem with these therapies, though, is the phenomenon of antigen escape, by which a subset of tumor cells evades the therapeutic immune response due to a lack of expression of the target molecule on the surface of the cell. This can lead to clinical relapse. “To address this issue, we propose a solution called ‘bystander killing,’ which aims to prevent antigen escape by leveraging localized immune responses that are antigen-independent to eliminate antigen-negative cells,” explains Dr. Soan.

Dr. Soan’s interest in lymphoma began with her own battle with cancer, and she is continually inspired by the patients she sees every day as a researcher. “They provide me with the motivation to work harder, knowing that our efforts hold the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by lymphoma.”

Having completed her doctoral research and an infectious and immune biology fellowship at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Soan is now working as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Her research focuses on molecular mechanisms that drive bystander killing and that can be leveraged to improve responses to T-cell-based therapies. “With a passion for scientific inquiry and a commitment to excellence, I aspire to make meaningful contributions to the field of cancer immunology and lead efforts toward more-effective and personalized treatment options for individuals battling lymphoma and cancer,” she says.

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