US News & World Report: Immunotherapy and cancer, COVID-19

UC research presented at virtual American Association for Cancer Research meeting

Immunotherapy for cancer patients with COVID-19 appears safe, a preliminary study suggests.

This form of treatment activates a person's immune system to fight against cancer.

Researchers have been wary because many COVID-19 complications result from an overactive immune response that leads to increased production of proteins called cytokines, which can cause issues such as respiratory failure.

portrait of Layne Weatherford

Layne Weatherford, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at UC who presented these findings at a virtual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Photo provided by Weatherford.

"In patients with both COVID-19 and cancer, our team thought that immunotherapy might increase the immune system response, which could already be overactive because of the COVID-19 infection," researcher and UC postdoctoral fellow Layne Weatherford said.

Weatherford works in the lab of Trisha Wise-Draper, PhD, an associate professor of medicine, Division of Hematology Oncology, at the UC College of Medicine, UC Health oncologist and medical director of the UC Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office.

Read the full story, which was originially reported by HealthDay News and also featured on the WebMD website, Everyday Health and at

Read the UC news release on this research.

Featured photo of test tubes by Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.

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