Xufeng Chen, PhD

New York University School of Medicine

Titles + affiliations

Instructor, Department of Pathology
New York University School of Medicine


Targeting Antigen Presentation for Next-Generation Immunotherapy of Acute Myeloid Leukemia


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a devastating blood cancer. Although the revolutionary discovery of immunotherapies, designed to boost the immune system to eliminate cancer cells, has saved thousands of lives, this brilliant method doesn’t seem to work well in the treatment of AML patients. One potential reason is that “smart” AML cells can pretend to be normal cells to avoid being recognized by the immune system through masking their tumor antigens (the “ID” of AML cells). Thus, it is necessary to understand how AML can reduce the presentation of tumor antigens and to identify those AML-derived antigen presentation regulators in order to offer novel immunotherapy options for AML patients. Using systematic screening approaches, we have identified IRF2BP2 as one of these regulators. IRF2BP2 potently suppresses antigen presentation in AML. Notably, ablation of IRF2BP2 can facilitate immune cell-mediated elimination of AML. In this proposal, we seek to comprehensively investigate how this protein regulates tumor antigen presentation in AML. Moreover, this study aims to test the feasibility of combining IRF2BP2 inhibition and existing frontline immunotherapies from a therapeutic perspective. Our proposed studies will not only advance our knowledge of AML-associated regulation of antigen presentation but also provide new candidates for next-generation cancer immunotherapy, that may offer a better therapeutic option to patients with poor responses to current therapies.


Leukemia Research Foundation grant
$100K awarded in 2022

Disease focus
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Research focus
Treatment (immunotherapy)