Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team - Stand Up To Cancer

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SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team: Correlating Immunological Health to Cancer Susceptibility

Grant Term: January 2018–December 2021

Scientists across many disciplines are working to understand how the immune system affects, mediates, or even controls cancer growth in different parts of the body. This SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team is using blood cells and other markers to intensively monitor the immune system over time in participants in three scientific research cohorts: an aging cohort, a twin cohort, and a cohort with inherited immunodeficiency. The results will be used to determine signatures of poor immune health that might predispose an individual to cancer. If successful, the findings will be a significant advance in medicine’s ability to understand what parts of the immune system are important in the prevention of cancer.


In analyzing samples from immunological studies, scientists have discovered indications that people with less robust immune responses can be more likely to develop and succumb to cancer. This finding offers intriguing possibilities to better understand the effect the immune system may have on the development and progression of cancers in the body.

The SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team will use a unique longitudinal cohort that was started at Stanford University in 2007, largely focused on older individuals and the phenomenon of aging, in their research project. A large quantity of data relating to the immune system has been collected. The current studies will include this cohort group and multiple complementary cohorts to look for a signature or signatures of immune dysfunction that predispose individuals to cancer.

Collaborating with clinicians, pathologists, immunologists, and Microsoft researchers, the team will connect the cohort studies at Stanford with bioinformatics and machine learning technologies to understand the role of immune impairment in cancer.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team.

Convergence Team Members

Mark Davis, PhD
Stanford University

Stephen Quake, PhD
Stanford University

Thomas Montine, MD, PhD
Stanford University

Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD
Stanford University

David Furman, PhD
Stanford University

Alice Lustig
Stand Up To Cancer
Project Manager


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and six-monthly reviews by senior scientists. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click on the link to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C Cancer Susceptibility Convergence Research Team.



This team started its work in January 2018. Links to publications will be posted when they are available.


Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.



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