After completing her medical degree, she entered surgical residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she became interested in the biology and treatment of cancer. During her training, she completed 2 fellowships in surgical oncology with a focus on immunotherapy for cancer.
Dr. Wargo was recruited to the Division of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital in July 2008 and had an active research laboratory focusing on melanoma tumorigenesis and immunotherapy for cancer. One exciting finding involved data describing the effect of BRAF-targeted therapy on tumor antigen expression in melanoma as a basis for combining targeted therapy and immunotherapy in the treatment of this disease. Dr. Wargo validated those findings in patients treated with BRAF inhibitors. She has continued critical studies to better understand the effects of BRAF inhibition on immune responses in melanoma, and established a unique set of serial tumor biopsies and blood samples from patients enrolled on clinical trials on BRAF inhibitors. Through analysis of these samples, she contributed significantly to the world literature regarding resistance mechanisms and the effect of targeted therapy on anti-tumor immunity.
Dr. Wargo was recruited to MD Anderson Cancer Center in September 2013 to continue this work and to build a program to collect serial biopsies in patients with melanoma and other cancers on targeted therapy and immunotherapy, and to better understand responses to therapy and to develop novel strategies to combat resistance.