Vienna, Austria: it’s day 2 of the European Cancer Congress in Vienna (Twitter #ECC2015).
Along with 18,000+ attendees we’re looking forward to hearing about some more practice changing data.
Today in Vienna brings another busy and jam packed day at the European Cancer Conference (ECC). We’ve already reached the point where the days blur and you have no idea which day of the week it actually is, you just follow the next fresh day in your personalised program or schedule.
So what’s in store today?
This morning brings updates on lung cancer, including the much anticipated atezolizumab results in POPLAR and BIRCH, as well as urothelial bladder cancer from the IMVigor trial. There is also a melanoma session that includes the oncolytic virus T-VEC, together with pembrolizunab and cobimetinib in separate study readouts. All this before lunch!
The afternoon promises to be equally interesting with an Immunotherapy in Cancer session that includes nivolumab, pembrolizumab plus we get our first look at a novel immunocytokine targeting CEA-IL2. A parallel session explores the science behind brain tumours with presentations on the tumour microenvironment, biomarkers and current trials.
In the meantime, the embargoes lift at 7am CEST on several studies including the atezolizumab data, which we highlight here.
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Chicago – the cancer immunotherapy poster session yesterday morning was “mobbed,” that is the only word to describe it. I have never seen such a crowded poster session at any medical meeting before. It speaks to the huge interest in this growing field.
It’s also a reflection that insights into the future direction of the field will be found in posters about preclinical and early work, rather than in oral presentations that reflect strategic decisions made a long time earlier.
We know checkpoint inhibitors work in many cancers, and a few more have been added to the list at this meeting. While that’s interesting, the real question is how do we increase the response rate and also get them to work in non-immunogenic tumors?
Yesterday in the poster session at ASCO, there was a poster that caught our attention on one approach that may achieve this. We briefly wrote about it in the ASCO Day 2 blog.
Also of note yesterday was that the new generic name for the PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor from Roche/Genentech. MPDL3280A is now atezolizumab. A few presenters stumbled over the pronunciation, it was so new…… and all the z’s add to the trickiness!
As to what Day 3 at ASCO holds, we’ll be updating this blog during the day as our schedule permits.
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