Research Collaboration

Expediting access to specialized clinical and research capabilities

Nonhuman Primate Population for Testing Cancer Immunotherapies

Test novel cancer immunotherapy treatments in nonhuman primate models of spontaneous breast, cervical and colon cancers through the Primate Cancer Initiative, the only program of its kind in the U.S.

Research Opportunity

Targeted immunotherapies are a promising treatment for various cancers, including breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, but are limited by serious side effects such as respiratory, cardiac and gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions. While most preclinical investigations are conducted in rodent models, testing in nonhuman primate models provides a critical translational step between rodent studies and human trials.

While immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment, a full understanding of immune system and cancer cell interactions has not been realized. In addition, off-target effects like tissue inflammation can limit application of novel cancer drugs.

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a unique cancer research program for studying cancer immunotherapies in nonhuman primates with spontaneous cancers. The Primate Cancer Initiative, the only program of its kind in the nation, has a novel research cohort of nonhuman primates (macaques and vervets) diagnosed with spontaneous breast, colorectal and cervical cancers.

  • AAALAC-accredited research facility with nonhuman primate colony
  • Non-invasive imaging modalities (positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography)
  • In-house nutrition lab for creating custom diets
  • On-site pathology and surgical labs
  • Collaborative research team specializing in veterinary medicine, radiology, oncology, pathology, surgery and biomolecular imaging

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Ken Szeliga
Ken Szeliga, MS
Senior Project Manager

+1.336.713.1689

kszeliga@wakehealth.edu