Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team - Stand Up To Cancer

Convergence Teams

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SU2C Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team:
Responders and Nonresponders to Endometrial Cancers With Mismatch Repair Deficiencies

Grant Term: January 2018–December 2021

This SU2C Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team is investigating why only half of all endometrial cancer patients with mismatch repair deficiencies respond to immunotherapy. The team is using patient biopsies from an ongoing clinical trial to figure out how to predict response and side effects and potentially design better immunotherapies for endometrial cancer patients. Mismatch repair deficiencies have been implicated in a wide variety of cancers, including some colorectal, stomach, small intestine, cervix, prostate, bile duct, and liver cancers, neuroendocrine tumors, and uterine sarcomas and ovarian cancers.


It has been observed that cancers that harbor many mutations are more responsive to treatment with immunotherapies. Tumors that are DNA mismatch repair deficient (MMR-deficient) and microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) have more mutations than other cancers as two mechanisms for repairing DNA damage are malfunctioning. In MMR-deficient, MSI-high endometrial cancers, only about half of all patients respond to immunotherapy treatments, but it is not clear why.

To address this, the SU2C Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team is developing novel computational methods to compare biopsies from an ongoing clinical trial. The comparisons seek to identify the differences between patients who respond to treatment and those who do not. In addition, the team is searching for ways to predict who will develop side effects to immunotherapy so that these can be mitigated. Finally, the team is using this information to identify the neoantigens, or protein flags that are present on cancer cells, that are strongly recognized by the immune system.

Taken together, this information will help identify patients who will respond to anti-PD1 treatment, allow expected side effects to be mitigated in advance, and build a foundation for new treatment approaches for those who likely will not respond to the current standard of care.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team.

Convergence Team Members

Alessandro Santin, MD
Yale University School of Medicine

Ludmil Alexandrov, PhD
University of California, San Diego

Stefania Bellone, PhD
Yale University

Akiko Iwasaki
Yale University

Alice Lustig
Stand Up To Cancer
Project Manager


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and six-monthly reviews by senior scientists. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click on the link to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C Endometrial Cancers Convergence Research Team.



This team started its work in January 2018. Links to publications will be posted when they are available.


Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.



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