The Role of MicroRNA in Cancer Immunology and its Potential Application in Immunotherapy


The objective of this study is to investigate microRNA’s regulatory role in immunologic development, cancer immune system, and its potential downstream application in immunotherapy.


Patients going for treatment at Valley’s Medical Oncology Department (patients may be enrolled in another research study and still be eligible to participate in this minimal risk study):

  • Cancer patients to be treated at the Oncology Department with immunotherapy drugs, with or without concurrent conventional treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
  • Patient clinical response for research evaluation will be assessed by RECIST Criteria, and by the researchers based on cumulative data and observation. This assessment is for research, not for treatment.  Treatment evaluation will be done by standard of care physicians. Research evaluation is to be used to help indicate how patients will be grouped based on their responsiveness. This information will not be shared with the patients.
  • This study excludes adult individuals who lack the capacity to consent for themselves.

Referral patients from non-Valley Hospital facilities:
Patients treated at a non-Valley facility, who are referred by their physicians to participate in the study. If a patient’s medical history and cancer diagnosis is not in Valley’s medical record system, a detailed medical record will be created for them based on the information provided by their primary physicians. Their medical and clinical treatment history needs to be followed for the duration of the study. If patients are admitted from outside of Valley (non-Valley facilities), researchers need to follow their treatment progression for research evaluation. This information will be sought from their standard of care physicians.

Healthy control specimens:
Healthy control blood specimens may be collected from blood donors with no known personal history of cancer. For the purpose of this study, de-identified healthy donor blood may be purchased from the local blood bank, i.e. New York Blood Center.

Should the need arise, as deemed necessary by the physicians and researchers, healthy blood donors may be recruited and blood specimens collected following the same procedure as that for the cancer patients (with the same consent process and questionnaire completion). However, donors will only be recruited on an “as-needed” basis.