OCRF & Ovarian Cancer National Alliance are now one strong, united, inspiring voice!
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) have led the way in advocacy, research and support for patients and their families for over 22 years. As of January 2016, we are pleased to announce we are joining together to form Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. Read the exciting news!


2014 Program Project Development Grant Recipient – Tyler Curiel, MD, MPH

Tyler Curiel, MD, MPH
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Rational Design of Effective Multi-modal Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy

Tyler Curiel


Jose Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD, Wistar Institute
Carl June, MD, University of Pennsylvania
Daniel Powell, Jr., PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Project Summary
Ovarian cancer elicits strong anti-cancer immunity, but the cancer is not eliminated. Our group has pioneered studies to understand why ovarian cancer is not immunologically eliminated, and has clinically tested promising approaches that could be significantly effective. Standard ovarian cancer treatment combines diverse approaches. Nonetheless, most immune therapy trials (including our early work) only test one immune treatment at a time. As we understand better the immune impediments in ovarian cancer, we can develop a program to combine our most successful approaches that we expect to synergize based on our understanding of their mechanisms.

We will develop rationally designed, effective multi-modal immune therapy for ovarian cancer using approaches in three key areas: i) reducing immune impediments to effective ovarian cancer immunotherapy, ii) blocking molecular mechanisms that drive tumor growth and inhibit anti-tumor immunity and iii) using new generation adoptive T cell transfers.

This program has three highly integrated and interactive projects led by four ovarian cancer thought leaders, to identify optimal approaches in these three key areas and means to combine them for maximal clinical effects. This rationally-designed immunotherapy can be safe, tolerable, effective, quickly translated, affordable and logistically amenable to appropriate scale out for wide application.

Our program will allow development of a major grant to test approaches clinically, first in resistant cancers, and later in relapse prevention and as treatment after failure of front-line therapy.

Tyler Jay Curiel, graduated summa cum laude with highest honors and honors in chemistry from the University of Georgia. He received his MD degree from Duke Medical School and his MPH from Harvard University. He did his internal medicine internship and residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale Medical School and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He later re-trained as a medical oncologist at the University of Colorado. He is currently certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, infectious diseases and medical oncology.

His laboratory group focuses on developing effective immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmunity and age-related diseases. In the past 15 years his group has made important observations in the immunopathogenesis of ovarian cancer, including demonstrating a pivotal role for regulatory T cells and B7-H1 immune co-signaling, with the goal of developing more effective immunotherapies. These concepts have been put into ovarian cancer clinical trials with some successes, but his group continually seeks to improve clinical responses with novel approaches.