As a clinician-investigator and a practicing medical oncologist, Dr. Leibowitz is engaged in basic, translational and clinical cancer research. At the "cancer research lab" at the Shamir medical center, the Leibowitz group is studying the co-stimulatory checkpoint protein TNFSF4 (OX40L) at the tumor micro-
The lab was the first to show its mRNA and protein expression at the melanoma micro-environment and is now performing multi-plex immunofluorescence to study its exact localization. Specifically, the crosstalk between the ligand and its receptor, TNFRSF4, is visualized, revealing their expression on cell types not previously known to express them; these findings may help explain both prognosis and response to immunotherapy.
The research is currently being expanded to other cancers such as pancreas and, in the future, triple-negative breast cancer. At the oncology institute, prospective and retrospective clinical research is performed on several aspects of solid tumor oncology, leveraging both the detailed electronic medical records, the proximity to the archived pathological material at the pathology institute, and the clinical experience and expertise of the medical oncologists at the "Shamir" medical center.
Dr. Raya Leibowitz, MD, PhD
Head, Oncology institute, Shamir Medical Center