Dr. Demaria is internationally known for her studies demonstrating the synergy of local radiation therapy with different immunotherapeutic agents in pre-clinical models of cancer. She was the first to show that radiotherapy can convert tumors unresponsive to immune checkpoint inhibitors into responsive ones, a finding being translated in several clinical trials at multiple institutions.
Her current work is funded by the US National Cancer Institute and several private foundations and is aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms that regulate ionizing radiation’s ability to generate an in situ tumor vaccine in both preclinical tumor models as well as cancer patients treated in clinical trials testing various combinations of radiation and immunotherapy.
As a breast cancer pathologist Dr. Demaria has also studied the immunological microenvironment of breast cancer in patients, and therapeutic strategies to modulate the immune infiltrate in preclinical breast cancer models. She holds leadership positions in national professional societies, including the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) where she currently serves on the Board, and is a member of the Steering Committee of AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group. She is also an elected member of the European Academy for Tumor Immunology (EATI), and serves in the editorial board of several journals, including Radiation Research, The Journal of Immunology, Clinical Cancer Research, and Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.