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Q&A with Dr. Liangliang Hao: Creating a Noninvasive Test for Monitoring Cancer Treatment Response

February 5, 2024

Dr. Liangliang Hao aims to address inequities in cancer treatment by developing a rapid point-of-care test that will predict the efficacy of certain cancer therapies.

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Immunotherapy uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer and has revolutionized the way we treat the disease. One promising immunotherapy strategy is a class of drugs called bispecific T cell engager (BiTE) antibodies, which make use of a patient’s T cells to help destroy cancer cells. However, difficulties persist in determining early on whether the treatment is working for a patient.

Liangliang Hao, PhD, assistant professor at Boston University, received a 2023 PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant in Translational Medicine for her work to develop a rapid point-of-care test that will predict how well cancer tumors are responding to this treatment.

Hao’s goal is to leverage state-of-the-art engineering tools to create a convenient, noninvasive test — similar to a home pregnancy test — that can help address health inequities by bringing sophisticated cancer monitoring to under-resourced areas at a low cost.

Watch this video to learn about Hao and her research.

Learn more about the PhRMA Foundation’s fellowship and grant opportunities.

Check out more researcher stories on our blog.