An internationally heralded expert in cancer immunology, Dr. Jaffee is well-regarded for her clinical studies that have fueled the development of immunotherapies, specifically allogeneic cancer vaccines. She has led numerous efforts and clinical trials dedicated to establishing effective vaccines for the treatment of not only unresectable breast and pancreatic cancers, but also cancers that are eligible for surgical resection, but present with a high likelihood of recurrence. These vaccines have been designed to bypass immunotolerance exhibited by tumors and have proven effective in improving disease-free survival in patients.
Specifically, Dr. Jaffee has contributed to the testing and development of the GVAX cancer vaccine for pancreatic cancer, which is designed to include allogeneic pancreatic cancer cells capable of secreting the immunostimulatory cytokine, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), normally produced by immune cells including T cells and natural killer cells. Dr. Jaffee has explored combinations involving GVAX and the CRS-207 vaccine, composed of recombinant live-attenuated, double-deleted Listeria monocytogenes that are genetically modified to secrete the tumor-associated antigen, mesothelin. These studies have demonstrated that GVAX administration in combination with CRS-207 effectively combats pancreatic cancer progression and increases overall survival with low toxicity.
More recently, her research has been dedicated to exploiting genomic and proteomic technologies to define biomarkers required for pancreatic cancer onset and progression. These studies have resulted in the identification of ANXA2 (Annexin A2) as a potential regulator of pancreatic cancer metastasis. Dr. Jaffee and her colleagues have demonstrated that ANXA2 is overexpressed in pancreatic cancers and that this overexpression is accompanied by changes in intracellular trafficking of ANXA2. Furthermore, changes in the cellular location of ANXA2 directly correlate with the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to proliferate and migrate into adjacent organs such as the liver. Dr. Jaffee’s ongoing efforts are dedicated to understanding how to integrate immune modulating agents with vaccines in both patients and animal models.
2019 Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine
2018-2019 President, American Association for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2016 Elected Co-Chair, National Cancer Moonshot Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2016 Elected Chair, National Cancer Advisory Board, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2015 Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2014 Editorial Advisory Board Member, Cancer Today
2013 Elected Member, National Cancer Advisory Board, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2013-2016 Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2012-2015 Deputy Editor, Cancer Immunology Research
2012 Vice Dean’s Award, Johns Hopkins University Office of Women in Science and Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
2008-2011 Board of Directors, International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2005 Elected Member, Board of Scientific Counselors, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2006 Spore Program Investigator of the Year, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda Maryland
2003-2005 Associate Editor, Cancer Research
2003-2005 Editorial Board Member, Clinical Cancer Research
2001-2004 Editorial Board Member, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
1992 Career Development Award, National Kidney Foundation, New York, New York
1992 Physician-Scientist Award, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland