Julius Strauss, M.D.
Dr. Strauss is a Staff Clinician (physician) in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology (LTIB). He is Director of the LTIB's Clinical Trials Group. His clinical research is focused on the use of novel agents capable of inducing the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. Dr. Strauss is very interested in the use of these agents in combination with each other as well as "standard" cytotoxic therapies in an effort to improve their efficacy. Dr. Strauss also has an interest in using these therapies to help patients with the fewest treatment options, including patients with rare diseases.
1) immunotherapy, 2) therapeutic cancer vaccines, 3) immune checkpoint inhibitors
As Director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology (LTIB), Dr. Strauss's clinical research is focused on the use of novel agents capable of inducing the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. Dr. Strauss 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 vaccines, immunocytokines and single or dual functioning checkpoint inhibitors (e.g. anti-PD-L1 +/- TGFbeta TRAP) either as monotherapies or in combination with each other or with cytotoxic therapies (chemotherapy, radiation). Dr. Strauss's trials enroll patients with multiple tumor types with a focus on gastrointestinal, genitourinary, gynecologic, and head and neck malignancies. Dr. Strauss also has an interest in using these therapies to help patients with the fewest treatment options, including patients with rare diseases.
Dr. Strauss 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 monoclonal antibody (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 immune-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 completed a first-in-human clinical trial with NHS-IL12 and are currently evaluating this cytokine in combination with anti-PD-L1 therapy. (b) The laboratory is characterizing, in collaboration with our CRADA partner, an anti-PDL1 Mab (avelumab) as well as a bifunctional fusion MAb combining an anti-PD-L1 and a TGFbeta TRAP (M7824). Unlike other anti-PD-L1 MAbs, these agents are capable of mediating antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) of human carcinomas cells. We have completed a first-in-human clinical trial with avelumab, which is currently being evaluated in multiple phase III tumor specific trials and was recently FDA approved for a rare skin malignancy known as Merkel Cell carcinoma. We have also completed a first-in-human clinical trial of M7824, which is currently being evaluated in phase 1b trials in multiple tumor specific expansion cohorts. (c) In collaboration with our CRADA partners, we have initiated or plan to initiate soon first-in-human trials evaluating multiple different therapeutic cancer vaccine platforms including CV301 (rV-, rF-CEA-MUC1-TRICOM), MVA-brachyury-TRICOM, fowlpox-brachyury-TRICOM, Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-CEA, Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-MUC1, Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-brachyury, and Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-PSA.
Selected Key Publications
Phase 1 trial of M7824 (MSB0011359C), a bifunctional fusion protein targeting PD-L1 and TGF-β, in advanced solid tumors.Clin Cancer Res.. 24: 1287-95, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
Bintrafusp alfa, a bifunctional fusion protein targeting TGF-β and PD-L1, in patients with human papillomavirus–associated malignancies. (In Press).J ImmunoTher Cancer. 2020. [ Journal Article ]
First-in-human phase I trial of a tumor-targeted cytokine (NHS-IL12) in subjects with metastatic solid tumors.Clin Cancer Res. 25(1): 99-109, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
A phase I dose-escalation trial of BN-CV301, a recombinant poxviral vaccine targeting MUC1 and CEA with costimulatory molecules.Clin Cancer Res. 25(16): 4933-4944, 2019.
A phase I trial using a multi-targeted recombinant Ad5 (CEA/MUC1/Brachyury)–based immunotherapy vaccine regimen in patients with advanced cancer .Oncologist. 25(6): 479-e899, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. Strauss received his M.D. from Stony Brook University Medical Center School of Medicine in 2010 and completed his internal medicine residency at Montefiore Medical Center in 2013. He joined the NCI Medical Oncology Service as a Medical Oncology Fellow in 2013. Dr. Strauss is the Co-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. Strauss is part of the larger effort of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology to create new immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Strauss’s areas of expertise: immunotherapy; therapeutic cancer vaccines; immune checkpoint inhibitors
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