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Focus on Oncology

Genentech has long been a leader in understanding and advancing the fields of cancer biology, cancer immunology and oncology drug discovery.

Our scientists understand that cancer is a complex problem involving factors intrinsic to the tumor that drive its formation, together with tumor-extrinsic mechanisms — notably the vasculature and the immune system — that enable tumor survival. We understand the importance of attacking both types of mechanisms in a coordinated fashion.

Building off of our early successes in the clinic, we have built a dedicated effort to understand how a patient’s immune response can be activated to achieve durable benefit and potentially cure, extending our understanding of cancer immunology to pursue new and innovative targets. At the same time, we retain a strong commitment to investigating the cancer cell itself, finding new opportunities in targeting in oncogenic and tumor suppressive pathways, as well as in next-generation antibody-drug conjugates. All our efforts are linked by exploring therapeutic combinations and by a commitment to pursuing personalized medicines.

Key Publications

Science, March 2017
T cell costimulatory receptor CD28 is a primary target for PD-1–mediated inhibition
Nature, March 2017
A distinct role for Lgr5+ stem cells in primary and metastatic colon cancer
Cancer Cell, March 2015
Genomic Analysis of Smoothened Inhibitor Resistance in Basal Cell Carcinoma
Nature Biotechnology, December 2014
A comprehensive transcriptional portrait of human cancer cell lines
Cancer Cell, December 2014
The Immunoreceptor TIGIT Regulates Antitumor and Antiviral CD8+ T Cell Effector Function
Nature, November 2014
Predicting immunogenic tumour mutations by combining mass spectrometry and exome sequencing
Cancer Cell, September 2014
Structure of the BRAF:MEK Complex Reveals a Kinase Activity Independent Role for BRAF in MAPK Signaling