The Richard Brand Award for Orthopaedic Research is given every year to an individual based on the quality and scientific merit of an original paper focusing on a topic of clinical relevance. It is given jointly by The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research Society.

Dr. Joseph H Schwab was awarded the Richard Brand Award during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in San Diego for his work entitled “Immune Surveillance Plays a Role in Locally Aggressive Giant Cell Lesions of Bone”. The work was a collaborative effort between Dr. Soldano Ferrone from the Monoclonal Antibody and Immunotherapy Laboratory, Dr.Leonard Kaban and Dr. Zachary Peacock from the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dr. Schwab from Orthopaedic Surgery.

The work focused on the role of immune escape mechanisms in the pathophysiology of giant cell lesions of bone by exploring the expression of HLA Class I molecules and the presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and correlating them with tumor behavior. In addition, the expression of B7H3, an important immune check point molecule, was correlated with tumor behavior. Dr. Schwab and colleagues found that more aggressive giant cell lesions lacked appropriate expression of HLA Class 1 molecules and TILs. Furthermore, the most aggressive lesions expressed high levels of B7H3 which has been shown to suppress the immune response in several other tumors. The data presented in their paper provided important insights into the role of the immune system in giant cell lesions and will serve to guide future treatment strategies.