Washington DC – this is our final daily post from the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
Starting on Monday we’ll be writing up expert interviews and providing commentary and analysis around some of the sessions we went to and the data we heard.
Tuesday at AACR17 was a day when the Corvus Pharmaceuticals stock dropped 50% following presentation of preliminary clinical data for their A2A receptor antagonist CPI-444.
It’s hard not to be disappointed when you see the waterfall plots skewed to the left and above the X axis, but we really don’t have enough data yet to determine whether CPI-444 on it’s own or in combination with atezolizumab may offer benefit to some cancer patients and if so, which ones.
The company have expanded the renal (RCC) and lung cohorts (NSCLC) in their initial trial, and they’ve told us to expect more data at ASCO17 in a few weeks time. Small cap biotech stocks can be a roller coaster when it comes to data presentations at major medical/scientific meetings.
What else caught our attention in the sessions we attended on Tuesday at #AACR17?
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At the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (#SABCS16) one of the mini-symposia that caught my attention was on “Harnessing the Immune System in Breast Cancer.”
A line-up of top researchers and clinicians shared the latest on breast cancer immunotherapy:
- Laurence Zitvogel MD PhD (Gustave Roussy), “From Breast Cancer Surveillance to Immunotherapy”
- Leisha Emens MD PhD (Johns Hopkins), “Breast Cancer Immunotherapy: Building on Clinical Success”
- Andy Minn MD PhD (Univ of Pennsylvania): “Identification of Resistance Mechanisms to Checkpoint Blockade for Cancer”
Dr Laurence Zitvogel at SABCS16
Readers of the blog will recall we last spoke with Dr Emens at the AACR 2015 annual meeting (is it really that long ago?!) where she presented the first data for the PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). See post: “Checkpoint data rocks AACR 2015.”
You can also hear Dr Emens talk about the data on Episode 1 of the Novel Targets Podcast.
What’s new in breast cancer immunotherapy and how have things advanced since then?
At SABCS16, we heard about a novel immunotherapy strategy targeting adenosine in breast cancer, and the trial with an adenonsine antagonist, CPI-444 (Corvus Pharmaceuticals, NASDAQ: CRVS) that’s now underway.
Last September, Corvus senior scientist Stephen Willingham, PhD and Chief Business Officer, Jason Coloma, PhD spoke to BSB about the data they were presenting at the 2016 CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Cancer Immunotherapy Conference in New York. See post: “Corvus moves fast to target the tumor microenvironment and improve checkpoint responses.”
Corvus had a presentation at the 2017 JP Morgan Healthcare conference (#JPM17) yesterday, and we’ve included some additional commentary on that in this post.
After the SABCS16 cancer immunotherapy mini-symposium, Dr Leisha Emens, Associate Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, kindly spoke to BSB.
Dr Leisha Emens at SABCS16
She’s one of the rock stars of breast cancer immunotherapy, and it was truly a pleasure to catch up with her again in San Antonio.
This is the second in our series of expert interviews from #SABCS16. In case you missed the prior posts and want to bookmark for the upcoming ones, you will find them on the conference page (Link).
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