Julius Strauss, M.D.
- Center for Cancer Research
- National Cancer Institute
- Building 10, Room 13N240
- Bethesda, MD 20892
Dr. Strauss is a Staff Clinician (physician) in the Center for Immuno-Oncology (CIO). He is Clinical Director of CIO Combination Immunotherapy 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.
Areas of Expertise
1) immunotherapy 2) therapeutic cancer vaccines 3) immune checkpoint inhibitors
Information for Patients
Learn more about our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams that lead them.
As Clinical Director of Center for Immuno-Oncology (CIO), Combination Immunotherapy Group 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.
Phase 1 trial of M7824 (MSB0011359C), a bifunctional fusion protein targeting PD-L1 and TGF-β, in advanced solid tumors
Bintrafusp alfa, a bifunctional fusion protein targeting TGF-β and PD-L1, in patients with human papillomavirus–associated malignancies
First-in-human phase I trial of a tumor-targeted cytokine (NHS-IL12) in subjects with metastatic solid tumors
A phase I dose-escalation trial of BN-CV301, a recombinant poxviral vaccine targeting MUC1 and CEA with costimulatory molecules
A phase I trial using a multi-targeted recombinant Ad5 (CEA/MUC1/Brachyury)–based immunotherapy vaccine regimen in patients with advanced cancer
Julius Strauss, M.D.
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 was the Co-Director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, NCI. He is currently the Clinical Director of CIO Combination Immunotherapy Group. He is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine. Dr. Strauss was 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
In Viewpoint: Evolving Issues in Oncology: “Vaccines as an integral component of cancer immunotherapy,” Drs. Jeffrey Schlom and James Gulley describe the opportunities and challenges for vaccine therapies to treat cancers. JAMA. 2018 Dec 4;320(21):2195-2196.
Immunotherapy drug with two targets shows promise against HPV-related cancers. In a Phase 1 clinical trial at the NCI of 43 patients with advanced cancers, the investigational immunotherapy drug bintrafusp alfa shrank the tumors of some patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers. “This drug is a promising agent for patients with HPV-related cancers and may potentially benefit these patients more than traditional checkpoint therapies,” said the trial's Principal Investigator, Julius Strauss, M.D., Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, CCR, NCI. [NCT02517398]
Clinical trial tests immunotherapy combination for advanced HPV-ssociated cancers. Dr. Julius Strauss is leading a study using a combination of 3 immunotherapy drugs to treat HPV+ cancers. [NCT04287868]
New trial evaluates immunotherapy combinations in adults with advanced small bowel and colorectal cancers is being led by Dr. Julius Strauss. [NCT04491955]
Clinical trial will test triple-drug combination against aggressive colon and HPV-associated cancers. Dr. Julius Strauss discusses promising immunotherapy drug for patients with HPV-related cancers. [NCT04708470]
CCR plays key role in first FDA-approved drug for treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma