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Larry W Kwak, M.D., Ph. D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Chairman, Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Associate Director, Center for Cancer Immunology Research, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Justin Distinguished Endowed Chair in Leukemia Research, Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1984 Northwestern University Graduate School, Evanston, IL, PHD, Tumor Cell Biology
1982 Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, MD, 6 year B.S.-M.D. Honors Program
1979 Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, BS, Medical Science

Postgraduate Training

7/1987-6/1991 Fellowship (Clinical and Research), Medical Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
7/1985-6/1987 Clinical Residency, Internal Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA
6/1984-6/1985 Clinical Internship, Internal Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA

Board Certifications

1/1989 American Board of Internal Medicine, Subspecialty Medical Oncology
1/1987 American Board of Internal Medicine

Honors and Awards

2012 Faculty Achievement Award in Clinical Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center
2010 TIME 100 (Named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world)
2010 Team Science Award recipient, International Society for the Biological Therapy of Cancer
2003 American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)
2003 NCI Technology Transfer Award, Center for Cancer Research
2002 European Academy of Sciences
2000 Asian and Pacific Islander-American Organization Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award, NIH
1989 Young Investigator Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology

Professional Memberships

American Association of Immunologists, Bethesda, MD
Member, 1993-present
American Society for Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, MI
Member, 2003-present
American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA
Member, 1993-present
American Society of Hematology, Washington, DC
Member, 1993-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Neelapu SS, Kwak LW. Rush hour traffic: directing T cells to tumor. J Natl Cancer Inst 106(11), 11/2014. e-Pub 9/24/2014. PMID: 25255804.
2. Qin H, Lerman B, Sakamaki I, Wei G, Cha SC, Rao SS, Qian J, Hailemichael Y, Nurieva R, Dwyer KC, Roth J, Yi Q, Overwijk WW, Kwak LW. Generation of a new therapeutic peptide that depletes myeloid-derived suppressor cells in tumor-bearing mice. Nature Med 20(6):676-81, 6/2014. e-Pub 5/2014. PMCID: PMC4048321.
3. Sakamaki I, Kwak LW, Cha SC, Yi Q, Lerman B, Chen J, Surapaneni S, Bateman S, Qin H. Lenalidomide enhances the protective effect of a therapeutic vaccine and reverses immune suppression in mice bearing established lymphomas. Leukemia 28(2):329-337, 2/2014. PMID: 23765229.
4. Westin JR, Chu F, Zhang M, Fayad LE, Kwak LW, Fowler N, Romaguera J, Hagemeister F, Fanale M, Samaniego F, Feng L, Baladandayuthapani V, Wang Z, Ma W, Gao Y, Wallace M, Vence LM, Radvanyi L, Muzzafar T, Rotem-Yehudar R, Davis RE, Neelapu SS. Safety and activity of PD1 blockade by pidilizumab in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma: a single group, open-label, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol 15(1):69-77, 1/2014. e-Pub 12/11/2013. PMCID: PMC3922714.
5. Cha SC, Qin H, Sakamaki I, Kwak L. Cloning variable region genes of clonal lymphoma immunoglobulin for generating patient-specific idiotype DNA vaccine. Methods Mol Biol 1139:289-303, 2014. PMID: 24619688.
6. Voo KS, Bover L, Harline ML, Vien LT, Facchinetti V, Arima K, Kwak LW, Liu YJ. Antibodies targeting human OX40 expand effector T cells and block inducible and natural regulatory T cell function. J Immunol 191(7):3641-50, 10/1/2013. e-Pub 9/6/2013. PMCID: PMC3812678.
7. Cha SC, Qin H, Kannan S, Rawal S, Watkins LS, Baio FE, Wu W, Ong J, Wei J, Kwak B, Kim S, Popescu MS, Paick DS, Kim K, Luong A, Davis RE, Schroeder HW, Kwak LW, Neelapu SS. Nonstereotyped Lymphoma B-cell Receptors Recognize Vimentin as a Shared Autoantigen. J Immunol 190(9):4887-98, 5/1/2013. e-Pub 3/27/2013. PMCID: PMC3633696.
8. Foglietta M, Neelapu SS, Kwak LW (CORRESPONDING AUTHOR), Jiang Y, Nattamai D, Lee S, Fowler D. Sportes C, Gress R, Steinberg S, Vence L, Radvanyi L, Dwyer KC, Qazilbash MH, Bryant K, and Bishop MR. Neo- and tumor antigen-specific humoral and cellular immunity transferred from immunized donors is detectable early after allogeneic transplantation in myeloma patients. Bone Marrow Transpl 48:269-77, 2013.
9. Younes A, Romaguera J, Fanale M, McLaughlin P, Hagemeister F, Copeland A, Neelapu S, Kwak L, Shah J, de Castro Faria S, Hart S, Wood J, Jayaraman R, Ethirajulu K, Zhu J. Phase I Study of a Novel Oral Janus Kinase 2 Inhibitor, SB1518, in Patients With Relapsed Lymphoma: Evidence of Clinical and Biologic Activity in Multiple Lymphoma Subtypes. J Clin Oncol 30(33). e-Pub 9/2012. PMID: 22965964.
10. Wang M, Fayad L, Wagner-Bartak N, Zhang L, Hagemeister F, Neelapu SS, Samaniego F, McLaughlin P, Fanale M, Younes A, Cabanillas F, Fowler N, Newberry KJ, Sun L, Young KH, Champlin R, Kwak L, Feng L, Badillo M, Bejarano M, Hartig K, Chen W, Chen Y, Byrne C, Bell N, Zeldis J, Romaguera J. Lenalidomide in combination with rituximab for patients with relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma: a phase 1/2 clinical trial. Lancet Oncol 13(7):716-23, 7/2012. e-Pub 6/2012. PMID: 22677155.
11. Kwak LW. Cancer Vaccines: Moving toward Prevention? Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 4(7):954-6, 7/2011. PMID: 21733818.
12. Romaguera JE, Fayad LE, Feng L, Hartig K, Weaver P, Rodriguez MA, Hagemeister FB, Pro B, McLaughlin P, Younes A, Samaniego F, Goy A, Cabanillas F, Kantarjian H, Kwak L, Wang M. Ten-year follow-up after intense chemoimmunotherapy with Rituximab-HyperCVAD alternating with Rituximab-high dose methotrexate/cytarabine (R-MA) and without stem cell transplantation in patients with untreated aggressive mantle cell lymphoma. Br J Haematol 150(2):200-08, 7/2010. e-Pub 5/2010. PMID: 20528872.
13. Weng J, Neelapu SS, Woo AF, Kwak LW. Identification of Human Idiotype-Specific T Cells in Lymphoma and Myeloma. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. e-Pub 6/2010. PMID: 20549471.
14. Qin H, Cha SC, Neelapu SS, Lou Y, Wei J, Liu YJ, Kwak LW. Vaccine site inflammation potentiates idiotype DNA vaccine-induced therapeutic T-cell, and not B-cell, dependent anti-lymphoma immunity. Blood 114(19):4142-9, 11/2009. e-Pub 9/2009. PMID: 19749091.
15. Esmaeli B, McLaughlin P, Pro B, Samaniego F, Gayed I, Hagemeister F, Romaguera J, Cabanillas F, Neelapu SS, Banay R, Fayad L, Wayne Saville M, Kwak LW. Prospective trial of targeted radioimmunotherapy with Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) for front-line treatment of early-stage extranodal indolent ocular adnexal lymphoma. Ann Oncol 20(4). e-Pub 1/2009. PMID: 19150940.
16. Lee ST, Liu S, Radvanyi L, Sukhumalchandra P, Molldrem JJ, Wieder ED, Hwu P, Liu YJ, Kwak LW, Lizée G, Neelapu SS. A novel strategy for rapid and efficient isolation of human tumor-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell clones. J Immunol Methods 331(1-2):13-26, 2/2008. e-Pub 10/2007. PMCID: PMC2265521.
17. Popescu MC, Robb RJ, Batenjany MM, Boni LT, Neville ME, Pennington RW, Neelapu SS, Kwak LW. A Novel Proteoliposomal Vaccine Elicits Potent Anti-Tumor Immunity in Mice. Blood 15;109 (12):5407-10, 1/2007.
18. Yang J, Qian J, Wezeman M, Wang S, Lin P, Wang M, Yaccoby S, Kwak LW, Barlogie B, Yi Q. Targeting beta2-microglobulin for induction of tumor apoptosis in human hematological malignancies. Cancer Cell 10:295-307, 10/2006. PMID: 17045207.
19. Cha SC, Kwak LW, Ruffini PA, Qin H, Neelapu S, Biragyn A. Cloning of B cell lymphoma-associated antigens using modified phage-displayed expression cDNA library and immunized patient sera. J Immunol Methods 312(1-2):79-93, 5/2006. PMID: 16631194.
20. Neelapu SS, Kwak LW (CORRESPONDING AUTHOR), Kobrin CB, Reynolds CW, Janik JE, Dunleavy K, White T, Harvey L, Pennington R, Stetler-Stevenson M, Jaffe ES, Steinberg SM, Gress R, Hakim F, Wilson WH. Vaccine-induced tumor-specific immunity despite severe B-cell depletion in mantle cell lymphoma. Nat Med 11(9):986-91, 9/2005. PMID: 16116429.
21. Neelapu SS, Munshi NC, Jagannath S, Watson TM, Pennington R, Reynolds C, Barlogie B, Kwak LW. Tumor antigen immunization of sibling stem cell transplant donors in multiple myeloma. Bone Marrow Transplant 36(4):315-23, 8/2005. PMID: 15968284.
22. Neelapu SS, Gause BL, Nikcevich DA, Shuster SJ, Winter J, Gockerman JP, Loughran T Jr, Takeshita K, Inghirami G, McGaughey D, Watson TM, Snow S, Kubovic P, Ferraro M, Jones E, Jaffe ES, Schwartzentruber DJ, Danforth D, Sherry, Kass E, Waes CV, Reynolds CW, Kwak LW. Phase III Randomized Trial of Patient-Specific Vaccination for Previously Untreated Patients with Follicular Lymphoma in First Complete Remission: Protocol Summary and Interim Report. Clin. Lymphoma 6(1):61-4, 2005.
23. Baskar S, Kobrin CB, Kwak LW. Autologous lymphoma vaccines induce human T cell responses against multiple, unique epitopes. J Clin Invest 113(10):1498-510, 5/2004. PMID: 15146248.
24. Biragyn A, Ruffini PA, Leifer CA, Klyushnenkova E, Shakhov A, Chertov O, Shirakawa AK, Farber JM, Segal DM, Oppenheim JJ, Kwak LW. Toll like receptor 4 activation of dendritic cells mediated by the endogenous antimicrobial peptide B-defensin-2. Science 298:1025-9, 11/2002. PMID: 12411706.
25. Biragyn A, Belyakov IM, Chow YH, Dimitrov DS, Berzofsky JA, Kwak LW. DNA vaccines encoding human immunodeficiency virus-1 glycoprotein 120 fusions with proinflammatory chemoattractants induce systemic and mucosal immune responses. Blood 100(4):1153-9, 8/2002. PMID: 12149191.
26. Simon RM, Steinberg SM, Hamilton M, Hildesheim A, Khleif S, Kwak LW, Mackall CL, Schlom J, Topalian SL, Berzofsky JA. Clinical trial designs for the early clinical development of therapeutic cancer vaccines. J Clin Oncol 19(6):1848-54, 3/2001. PMID: 11251017.
27. Li Y, Bendandi M, Deng Y, Dunbar C, Munshi N, Jagannath S, Kwak LW, Lyerly HK. Tumor-specific recognition of human myeloma cells by idiotype-induced CD8(+) T cells. Blood 96(8):2828-33, 10/2000. PMID: 11023518.
28. Bendandi M, Gocke CD, Kobrin CB, Benko FA, Sternas LA, Pennington R, Watson TM, Reynolds CW, Gause BL, Duffey PL, Jaffe ES, Creekmore SP, Longo DL, Kwak LW. Complete molecular remissions induced by patient-specific vaccination plus granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor against lymphoma. Nat Med 5(10):1171-7, 10/1999. PMID: 10502821.
29. Biragyn A, Tani K, Grimm MC, Weeks S, Kwak LW. Genetic fusion of chemokines to a self tumor antigen induces protective, T-cell dependent antitumor immunity. Nat Biotechnol 17(3):253-8, 3/1999. PMID: 10096292.
30. Kwak LW, Pennington R, Boni L, Ochoa AC, Robb RJ, Popescu MC. Liposomal formulation of a self lymphoma antigen induces potent protective antitumor immunity. J Immunol 160(8):3637-41, 4/1998. PMID: 9558062.
31. Kwak LW, Young HA, Pennington RW, Weeks SD. Vaccination with syngeneic, lymphoma-derived immunoglobulin idiotype combined with granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor primes mice for a protective T-cell response. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93(20):10972-7, 10/1996. PMID: 8855293.
32. Levitsky HI, Montgomery J, Ahmadzadeh M, Staveley-O'Carroll K, Guarnieri F, Longo DL, Kwak LW. Immunization with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-transduced, but not B7-1-transduced, lymphoma cells primes idiotype-specific T cells and generates potent systemic antitumor immunity. J Immunol 156(10):3858-65, 5/1996. PMID: 8621924.
33. Kwak LW, Pennington R, Longo DL. Active immunization of murine allogeneic bone marrow transplant donors with B-cell tumor-derived idiotype: a strategy for enhancing the specific antitumor effect of marrow grafts. Blood 87(7):3053-60, 4/1996. PMID: 8639929.
34. Hornung RL, Longo DL, Bowersox OC, Kwak LW. Tumor antigen-specific immunization of bone marrow transplantation donors as adoptive therapy against established tumor. J Natl Cancer Inst 87(17):1289-96, 9/1995. PMID: 7544833.
35. Kwak LW, Taub DD, Duffey PL, Bensinger WI, Bryant EM, Reynolds CW, Longo DL. Transfer of myeloma idiotype-specific immunity from an actively immunized marrow donor. Lancet 345:1016-20, 4/1995. PMID: 7723498.
36. Kwak LW, Campbell MJ, Czerwinski DK, Hart S, Miller RA, Levy R. Induction of immune responses in patients with B-cell lymphoma against the surface-immunoglobulin idiotype expressed by their tumors. N Engl J Med 327(17):1209-15, 10/1992. PMID: 1406793.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Program Leader, Hematological Malignancies
Principal Investigator: Ronald DePinho, MD
Duration: 10/1/2010 - 1/2018
Title: SPORE in Multiple Myeloma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator: Orlowski
Duration: 9/1/2010 - 8/31/2015
Title: Combination vaccine and activated T-cell therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation, SPORE in Multiple Myeloma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator Project 1
Duration: 9/1/2010 - 8/31/2015
Title: Translational development of novel lymphoma DNA vaccine therapy
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2010 - 8/31/2013
Title: SPORE in Lymphoma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2009 - 8/31/2015
Title: Program Project: Regulatory T cells in human cancer
Funding Source: Keck Foundation
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 1/1/2008 - 12/31/2011
Title: Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) Translational development of novel vaccine therapies
Funding Source: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 10/1/2007 - 9/30/2013
Title: Immunization of stem cell transplant donors to enhance graft-vs.-tumor effects
Funding Source: NCI Quick trials for novel cancer therapies
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2007 - 8/31/2010
Title: Antigen discovery and development of tumor-specific lymphoma immunotherapy
Funding Source: NCI
Role: Mentor
Principal Investigator: Sattva Neelapu, MD
Duration: 5/1/2007 - 4/30/2011
Title: Peer Reviewed Medical Research program Second-Generation Therapeutic DNA Lymphoma Vaccines
Funding Source: Department of Defense (DOD)
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 4/15/2007 - 4/14/2012
Title: Adoptive immunotherapy with donor tumor idiotype-specific T cells
Funding Source: Gateway Cancer Research Foundation
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2/1/2007 - 6/30/2013
Title: Translational Research Grant Genetic Vaccines Eliciting Lymphoma-specific T-cell Immunity
Funding Source: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2010
Title: Foundation Early Career Translational Research Award Synthetic Delivery Systems for Cancer Immunotherapy
Funding Source: Wallace Coulter Foundation
Role: Principal Investigator-MDACC
Principal Investigator: Krishnendu Roy, PhD
Duration: 8/1/2006 - 7/31/2008
Title: Career Development Award
Funding Source: ASCO
Role: Mentor
Principal Investigator: Sattva Neelapu, MD
Duration: 7/1/2006 - 7/1/2009
Title: Role of Jak3 in anaplastic large cell lymphoma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Mentor
Principal Investigator: Hesham Amin
Duration: 2006 - 2010

Last updated: 8/8/2014