Christine Campo Alewine, M.D., Ph.D.
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Building 37, Room 5116B
Bethesda, MD 20892
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease that kills more than 40,000 Americans each year. Just 6% of patients survive five years or more after diagnosis because the disease metastasizes very early in its development and is resistant to most current treatments. More effective systemic therapies are needed for our patients.
Recombinant immunotoxins are antibody-based anti-cancer therapeutics that deliver a very potent bacterial toxin specifically to cancer cells. The bacterial toxin halts protein synthesis in the cancer cell, a lethal insult to many cell types. SS1P and LMB-100 (previously called RG7787) are two recombinant immunotoxins that we are testing in the clinic for patients with solid tumors, including pancreatic cancer. These immunotoxins target mesothelin, a protein that is expressed on the surface of almost all pancreatic cancers, but has very limited expression in normal tissues. These immunotoxins bind to mesothelin on the cancer cell surface, leading to cancer cell internalization of the toxin and tumor cell death.
My laboratory research focuses on:
1. Identifying effective combination therapies that can enhance the activity of immunotoxins by increasing delivery and efficacy
2. Evaluating efficacy of new immunotoxins against pancreatic cancer models in vivo and in vitro
3. Developing new syngeneic mouse models that allow evaluation of immunotoxin effect in the context of an intact immune system.
4. Examining the biology of mesothelin.
Dr. Alewine received her M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed internal medicine residency in the Osler Medical Training Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital followed by clinical fellowship in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute. She joined the Laboratory of Molecular Biology as an Assistant Clinical Investigator through the support of the Clinical Investigator Development program in 2014 and became a tenure-track investigator through the NIH Lasker Scholar program in 2016.
Carlson M. Demystifying diagnostic procedures. Part II: Hospital admission -- chest X-rays. J Pract Nurs. 1979;29(6):15-7, 40.
Alewine C, Xiang L, Yamori T, Niederfellner G, Bosslet K, Pastan I. Efficacy of RG7787, a next-generation mesothelin-targeted immunotoxin, against triple-negative breast and gastric cancers. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014;13(11):2653-61.
Zhang J, Bera TK, Liu W, Du X, Alewine C, Hassan R, Pastan I. Megakaryocytic potentiating factor and mature mesothelin stimulate the growth of a lung cancer cell line in the peritoneal cavity of mice. PLoS One. 2014;9(8):e104388.