Yiping Yang

Overview:

The goal of Dr. Yang’s laboratory is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the generation of potent and long-lasting anti-tumor immunity, and to develop effective gene immunotherapeutic strategies for treating cancer. Furthermore, rational pre-clinical approaches will be tested in clinical trials in patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related malignancies. Specifically, we focus on the following areas:

1. Innate Immunity to Viruses. Recombinant vaccinia virus and adenovirus have been developed as potent vaccine vehicles for treating cancer and infectious diseases. Recent studies have shown that the unique potency of these viruses lies in their effective activation of the innate immune system. How these viruses activate the innate immune system remains largely unknown. We have been interested in the role of pattern-recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLRs)in innate immune recognition of these viruses as well as their signaling pathways. In addition, we are investigating the role of innate immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells in innate and adaptive immune responses to these viruses. A full understanding of these processes will help us design effective vaccine strategies.

2. T Cell Memory. Eliciting long-lived memory T cell response is an ultimate goal of vaccination to provide long-term immunity against cancer. However, it is not clear what controls the formation of long-lived memory T cells. The understanding of mechanisms underlying memory T cell formation will provide important insights into the design of effective vaccines for treating cancer.

3. Regulatory T Cell Biology. Accumulating evidence has shown that the immunosuppressive CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (TReg) play a critical role in the suppression of anti-tumor immunity. However, little is known about how TReg suppress T cell activation in vivo. Delineation of mechanisms underlying TReg-mediated suppression in vivo will help develop strategies to overcome TReg-mediated suppression in favor of boosting anti-tumor immunity.

4. Immunotherapy for EBV-associated Malignancies. Clinically, EBV-associated malignancies such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma offer a unique model to explore antigen-defined immunotherapy approaches because EBV-derived tumor antigens are specific for tumor cells only. Using this clinical model, we will test the utility of rational strategies identified in our preclinical models.

Positions:

Professor of Medicine

Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
School of Medicine

Professor of Immunology

Immunology
School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

M.D. 1985

Zhejiang University (China)

Ph.D. 1993

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Residency, General Internal Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Fellowship, Medical Oncology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Grants:

Role of hedgehog signaling in tumor-associated macrophage polarization

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

T memory stem cells in cancer

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Novel Strategies for Cancer Immunotherapy in Stem Cell Transplant

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Role of Endogenous Toll-Like Receptor Ligands in Allospecific T Cell Activation

Administered By
Surgery, Abdominal Transplant Surgery
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Role of inflammation in cancer progression

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Driving an improved CAR for cancer immunotherapy.

The recent clinical success of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for B cell malignancies represents a paradigm shift in cancer immunotherapy. Unfortunately, application of CAR T cell-mediated therapy for solid tumors has so far been disappointing, and the reasons for this poor response in solid tumors remain unknown. In this issue of the JCI, Cherkassky and colleagues report on their use of a murine model of human pleural mesothelioma to explore potential factors that limit CAR T cell efficacy. Their studies have uncovered the importance of the tumor microenvironment in the inhibition of CAR T cell functions, revealed a critical role for the programmed death-1 (PD-1) pathway in CAR T cell exhaustion within the tumor microenvironment, and demonstrated improved antitumor effects with a CAR T cell-intrinsic PD-1 blockade strategy using a dominant negative form of PD-1. Together, the results of this study lay the groundwork for further evaluation of mechanisms underlying CAR T cell immune evasion within the tumor microenvironment for the improvement of CAR T cell-mediated therapy for solid tumors.
Authors
MLA Citation
Huang, Xiaopei, and Yiping Yang. “Driving an improved CAR for cancer immunotherapy..” J Clin Invest, vol. 126, no. 8, Aug. 2016, pp. 2795–98. Pubmed, doi:10.1172/JCI88959.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1146780
PMID
27454296
Source
pubmed
Published In
J Clin Invest
Volume
126
Published Date
Start Page
2795
End Page
2798
DOI
10.1172/JCI88959

Differential impact of inhibitory and activating Killer Ig-Like Receptors (KIR) on high-risk patients with myeloid and lymphoid malignancies undergoing reduced intensity transplantation from haploidentical related donors.

The impact of activating KIR (aKIR) and inhibitory KIR (iKIR) on OS, relapse-related mortality (RRM) and acute GVHD (aGVHD) was prospectively studied in 84 adults with high-risk hematologic malignancies receiving reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) T-cell depleted hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) from haploidentical related donors. In this clinical model, freedom from RRM is dependent on GVL effect. Patients were divided into myeloid (n=49) and lymphoid (n=35) malignancy groups. KIR-ligand and ligand-ligand models were studied in both GVH and rejection directions and statistically correlated with outcome measures. In the myeloid group, OS was higher (P=0.009) and RRM was lower (P=0.036) in patients missing HLA-C group2 ligand to donor iKIR. OS was higher if patients had >1 missing ligand (P=0.018). In lymphoid malignancy, missing ligand to donor KIR had no impact on OS or RRM. However, OS was better with donor aKIR 2DS2 (P=0.028). There was a trend towards shorter OS in recipient with KIR 2DS1, 2DS5 and 3DS1, although sample sizes were too small to provide inferential statistics. Findings in lymphoid malignancy patients should be further studied. These results suggest that the absence of appropriate HLA ligands in the recipient to donor iKIR may induce GVL without aGVHD in myeloid malignancy patients undergoing TCD-RIC transplants.
Authors
Chen, D-F; Prasad, VK; Broadwater, G; Reinsmoen, NL; DeOliveira, A; Clark, A; Sullivan, KM; Chute, JP; Horwitz, ME; Gasparetto, C; Long, GD; Yang, Y; Chao, NJ; Rizzieri, DA
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub764602
PMID
22139069
Source
pubmed
Published In
Bone Marrow Transplant
Volume
47
Published Date
Start Page
817
End Page
823
DOI
10.1038/bmt.2011.181

Induction of type I IFN is required for overcoming tumor-specific T-cell tolerance after stem cell transplantation.

Tumor-specific T-cell tolerance represents one major mechanism of tumor-induced immune evasion. Myeloablative chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation may offer the best chance of achieving a state of minimal residual disease and, thus, minimize tumor-induced immune evasion. However, studies have shown that tumor-specific T-cell tolerance persists after transplantation. Here, we showed that CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (T(Reg)) cells play a critical role in tumor-specific CD8(+) T-cell tolerance after transplantation. Removal of T(Reg) cells from the donor lymphocyte graft did not overcome this tolerance because of rapid conversion of donor CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells into CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T(Reg) cells in recipients after transplantation, and depletion of T(Reg) cells in recipients was necessary for the reversal of tumor-specific tolerance. These results suggest that strategies capable of overcoming T-cell tolerance in recipients are required to promote antitumor immunity after transplantation. Toward this goal, we showed that dendritic cell (DC) vaccines coadministered with the TLR9 ligand, CpG could effectively overcome tumor-specific tolerance, leading to significant prolongation of tumor-free survival after transplantation. We further showed that CpG-induced type I interferon was critical for the reversal of tumor-specific tolerance in vivo. Collectively, these results may suggest effective immunotherapeutic strategies for treating cancer after stem cell transplantation.
Authors
Horkheimer, I; Quigley, M; Zhu, J; Huang, X; Chao, NJ; Yang, Y
MLA Citation
Horkheimer, Ian, et al. “Induction of type I IFN is required for overcoming tumor-specific T-cell tolerance after stem cell transplantation..” Blood, vol. 113, no. 21, May 2009, pp. 5330–39. Pubmed, doi:10.1182/blood-2008-05-155150.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub764634
PMID
19279333
Source
pubmed
Published In
Blood
Volume
113
Published Date
Start Page
5330
End Page
5339
DOI
10.1182/blood-2008-05-155150

Persistent Toll-like receptor signals are required for reversal of regulatory T cell-mediated CD8 tolerance.

One chief barrier to cancer immunotherapy is tumor-specific T cell tolerance. Here we compared the ability of hemagglutinin (HA)-encoding recombinant viruses versus 'HA-loaded' dendritic cells to reverse HA-specific CD8 tolerance and to protect mice from tumor challenge. Both vaccines were comparable in activating naive HA-specific CD8(+) T cells. However, in circumstances of established tolerance, viral vaccines could break CD8 tolerance in the presence of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells, whereas dendritic cell-based vaccines achieved this only after removal of regulatory T cells or the coadministration of a Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand or irrelevant virus. These results demonstrate that virus provides TLR signals required for bypassing regulatory T cell-mediated tolerance and emphasize the importance of persistent TLR signals for immunotherapy in the setting of established tolerance.
Authors
Yang, Y; Huang, C-T; Huang, X; Pardoll, DM
MLA Citation
Yang, Yiping, et al. “Persistent Toll-like receptor signals are required for reversal of regulatory T cell-mediated CD8 tolerance..” Nat Immunol, vol. 5, no. 5, May 2004, pp. 508–15. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/ni1059.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub777582
PMID
15064759
Source
pubmed
Published In
Nature Immunology
Volume
5
Published Date
Start Page
508
End Page
515
DOI
10.1038/ni1059

Immune responses to viral antigens versus transgene product in the elimination of recombinant adenovirus-infected hepatocytes in vivo.

Human adenoviruses have been developed as an attractive vehicle for in vivo liver-directed gene therapy. Problems with the application of first generation recombinant adenoviruses to liver-directed gene therapy have been transient expression of the recombinant gene and development of hepatitis. Previous studies in mouse models of gene transfer to liver and lung suggested that MHC class I-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to viral antigens may be effectors in the elimination of transgene expression. The goal of this study was to evaluate the importance of viral antigens versus transgene product in inducing CTL mediated hepatocyte destruction in vivo. Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with a lacZ-expressing adenovirus elicited CTL responses to both viral antigens and the transgene product, beta-galactosidase (beta-gal). Adoptive transfer experiments, as well as studies involving lacZ-transgenic mice (ROSA-26) revealed that CTLs to viral antigens are sufficient to destroy virus-infected hepatocytes, indicating that CTLs to beta-gal can not solely account for the observed hepatocyte destruction that has characterized the use of first generation viruses. In addition, we confirmed that B cell-mediated events do not participate in destruction of hepatocytes in vivo, despite the production of virus- and beta-gal-specific antibodies. These data confirm the hypothesis that viral gene expression elicits host responses that contribute to the problem of transgene instability. Recombinant adenoviruses must be redesigned to diminish viral gene expression if they are to be used in the treatment of chronic diseases.
Authors
Yang, Y; Jooss, KU; Su, Q; Ertl, HC; Wilson, JM
MLA Citation
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub807244
PMID
8867861
Source
pubmed
Published In
Gene Therapy
Volume
3
Published Date
Start Page
137
End Page
144

Research Areas:

Acute Disease
Adaptive Immunity
Adenoviridae
Adenoviridae Infections
Adenovirus E1A Proteins
Adenovirus E1B Proteins
Adenoviruses, Human
Adjuvants, Immunologic
Adoptive Transfer
Aged
Alternative Splicing
Antibody Formation
Antigen Presentation
Antigens, CD4
Antigens, CD8
Antigens, Neoplasm
Antigens, Viral
Antineoplastic Agents
Autoantigens
Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmunity
Blotting, Western
CD4 Antigens
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
Cell Proliferation
Chaperonins
Chloride Channels
Coculture Techniques
Combined Modality Therapy
Cyclic AMP
Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
Cytokines
Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
DNA, Viral
Dendritic Cells
Dependovirus
Disease Models, Animal
Electric Conductivity
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Endosomes
Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
Female
Flow Cytometry
Gene Deletion
Gene Knock-In Techniques
Gene Transfer Techniques
Gene therapy
Genes, Bacterial
Genes, Viral
Genetic Therapy
Germinal Center
Glucose
Graft vs Host Disease
Growth Inhibitors
HLA Antigens
HLA-C Antigens
Heat-Shock Proteins
Hemagglutinins
Hematologic Neoplasms
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Heparitin Sulfate
Histocompatibility
Histocompatibility Testing
Humans
Immune System
Immune Tolerance
Immunity, Cellular
Immunity, Innate
Immunologic Memory
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunotherapy
Influenza A virus
Interferon Type I
Interferon-beta
Interleukin-10
Interleukin-12
Interleukin-13
Interleukin-2
Interleukin-6
Killer Cells, Natural
Luciferases
Lung Neoplasms
Lymphocyte Activation
Lymphocyte Depletion
Lymphocyte Transfusion
Lymphocytes
Lymphoma
Lymphopenia
Macrophages
Male
Membrane Glycoproteins
Mice
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Mice, Inbred CBA
Mice, Knockout
Mice, Mutant Strains
Mice, Nude
Mice, Transgenic
Microsomes
Middle Aged
Mitosis
Molecular Sequence Data
Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Myeloid Cells
Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
Neoplasms
North Carolina
Oocytes
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
RNA, Messenger
Receptors, Cell Surface
Receptors, Interleukin-1
Receptors, KIR
Recombinant Proteins
Retrospective Studies
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Risk Factors
STAT1 Transcription Factor
Sequence Deletion
Stem Cell Transplantation
Survival Rate
T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity
T-Lymphocytes
T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
Toll-Like Receptor 2
Toll-Like Receptor 4
Toll-Like Receptor 8
Toll-Like Receptor 9
Toll-Like Receptors
Transfection
Transgenes
Transplantation Conditioning
Transplantation, Homologous
Tumor Escape
Vaccines
Vaccinia
Vaccinia virus
Virus Diseases
Viruses
Xenopus
beta-Galactosidase