Biomarkers Consortium - Chemotherapeutic Impact on the Immune MicroEnvironment

Cancer immunotherapy (IO)—the use of treatments that stimulate the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells—is dramatically transforming cancer outcomes in some tumors types and patients. Several IOs, have generated striking clinical activity against tumors. However, clinical impact of tumor immunity in patients with cancer is still variable and many patients fail to respond to IO. Increasing evidence suggests that subsequent or combination treatment with chemotherapy can enhance response in tumors resistant to treatment with IO alone. Thus, further understanding of the tumor immune microenvironment (TME) before and after chemotherapy is needed.

Chemotherapeutic Impact on the Immune MicroEnvironment (ChIIME) will aid in defining the heterogeneous state of malignant and non-malignant cells and develop a systematic approach to evaluate the TME. The team will utilize single-cell genomics to identify cell populations, determine individual cellular genomic and molecular states, and ascertain features that predict and explain clinical therapy responses. This information may help to determine how to sequence and combine chemo- and IOs, as well as to discover new therapeutic interventions.


  • The team will determine the impact of chemotherapy on the TME and identify biomarkers that characterize key features associated with either:
    • different sub-sets of cell states within a patient,
    • distinct patient sub-sets present, without or after chemotherapy; and/or,
    • prediction of outcome/response to chemotherapy in different patient sub-sets or overall.


The FNIH currently seeks funding to support this program. 

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Public-Sector Partners:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Academic Partners:
The Broad Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard University

FNIH Contact

Emily Morgan, Associate Project Manager, Cancer;
Dana E. Connors, Senior Project Manager, Cancer;
Stacey J. Adam, Ph.D., Director, Cancer;