Matthias Stephan

Matthias Stephan
About Matthias Stephan

The immune system is a powerful natural defense system that targets and kills cells considered by the host to be dangerous. Tumors survive because of their ability to evade or inactivate T cells, a main immune cell type that kills tumor cells.

Dr. Matthias Stephan will create a therapy to program T cells to kill prostate cancer cells. Nanoparticles that can act as targeted delivery vehicles will be engineered to deliver DNA encoding tumor cell recognition genes to T cells. Expression of the gene by the T cell will enable specific recognition and killing of prostate cancer cells.

If successful, this project will develop a therapeutic approach to generate anti-tumor T cells, thereby reprogramming the immune system for tumor elimination.

What this means for patients: The immune system is naturally equipped to recognize and kill dangerous cells. This project will create a novel off-the-shelf therapy to reprogram killer T cells to eliminate prostate cancer cells.


2014 Lori Milken-PCF Young Investigator

Matthias Stephan, MD, PhD

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


Peter Nelson, MD

Proposal Title

In Vivo Programming of Prostate Tumor-Specific T cells using Synthetic Nanoparticles