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Christopher R. Heery, M.D.

Portait Photo of Christopher Heery
Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology
Head, Clinical Trials Group
Staff Clinician
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Bldg. 10, Room 13N208
Bethesda, MD 20892


Dr. Heery received his M.D. from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in 2006 and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2009. He joined the NCI Medical Oncology Branch as a Medical Oncology Fellow in 2009. Dr. Heery is Director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, NCI. He also has an Adjunct Appointment in the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch. He is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine. Dr. Heery is part of the larger effort of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology to create new immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer.

Dr. Heery's areas of expertise: immunotherapy; therapeutic cancer vaccines; immune checkpoint inhibitors; chordoma; gastrointestinal cancer; rare disease.


As Director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Dr. Heery's clinical research is focused on the use of novel agents capable of inducing the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. Dr. Heery focuses on the use of these agents in combination as well as 'standard' cytotoxic therapies in an effort to improve their efficacy. Ongoing trials include the use of checkpoint inhibitors (anti-PD-L1), vaccines, and immunocytokines as monotherapies as well as in combination with each other or with cytotoxic therapies (chemotherapy, radiation). Dr. Heery's trials enroll patients with multiple tumor types with a focus on colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer. Dr. Heery also has an interest in using these therapies to help patients with the fewest treatment options, including patients with rare diseases.

Dr. Heery has been involved in the following areas of clinical investigation: (a) In collaboration with the LTIB's CRADA partner, the laboratory is characterizing a tumor-targeting immunocytokine. NHS-IL12 is a fully human MAb that binds DNA/histone in necrotic tumor, which is fused to human IL-12 heterodimers. The agent was designed to reduce the toxicity of rec. IL-12 protein while maintaining its immuno-enhancing properties at the tumor site. We have shown that the immunocytokine has anti-tumor activity in a range of tumor models and is extremely effective when used in combination therapies in several models. We have recently initiated a first-in-human clinical trial with NHS-IL12. (b) The laboratory is characterizing, in collaboration with our CRADA partner, an anti-PDL1 MAb that, unlike other anti-PDL1 MAbs, is capable of mediating ADCC of human carcinomas cells. We have initiated a first-in-human clinical trial with this anti-PDL1. (c) A dual center (NCI and MD Anderson) study randomizing patients with metastatic breast cancer to docetaxel +/- PANVAC vaccine (rV-, rF-CEA-MUC1-TRICOM) has recently been completed.

This page was last updated on 7/11/2014.