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Last Updated: 05/05/22

ImmunoOncology Branch (IOB)

NCI established the Immuno-Oncology Branch in December, 2016. This page will be updated as activities get underway.

  • Develops immunotherapy projects and initiatives, including proposing and implementing new initiatives, such as Cooperative Agreements with academia and potentially industry, to further promote and advance immunotherapy-related projects and scientific areas considered of importance to the field of immunotherapy.
  • Provides the biomedical community (academia and pharma) with guidance on the processes required to develop new immunotherapeutic agents, including preclinical and clinical pharmacokinetics, toxicology and pharmacology, drug formulation and production, pharmacodynamics, and IND-clirected regulatory requirements.
  • Coordinates existing efforts and implement new initiatives in immunotherapy within DCTD as well as the extramural scientific community by identifying new immunotherapeutic agent candidates to recommend for development (through the NExT Program/grant mechanisms).
  • Reviews planned biochemical and immunotherapeutic grants to ensure proper scientific balance exists bewteen funding mechanisms and identify potential areas of scientific investigation and develop plans to exploit the potential of promising new immunotherapeutic agents
  • Coordinates activities with the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) to evaluate new immunotherapeutic agents and to provide investigators with guidance on optimum combination drug strategies, clinical trial design, and biomarker identification/assays for their immunotherapeutic agents, and facilitate access to combination drugs both from within CTEP's portfolio, from other pharmaceutical partners, and from investigators supported by NCI research grants.

IOB Staff Profile and Focus Areas

Funding Opportunity Announcements:
RFA 22-016 Pediatric Immunotherapy Network (PIN, U01)
PAR 20-271 Assay development and screening for discovery of chemical probes, drugs or immunomodulators (R01)

Notices of Intent to Publish:
Cancer Adoptive Cellular Therapy Network (Can-ACT) for Adult Cancers (UG3/UH3)
Cancer Adoptive Cellular Therapy Network (Can-ACT) for Pediatric Cancers (UG3/UH3)
Cancer Adoptive Cellular Therapy Network (Can-ACT) Coordinating Center (U24)

About the Branch Chief

Dr. Marc Ernstoff Dr. Marc Ernstoff joined the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, Developmental Therapy Program in 2020 as Medical Officer and the new Chief of the ImmunoOncology Branch. He has over 40 years experience in studying the immunobiology of human cancer and the development of new immune therapies. More…