Remember the good old days at ESMO17 in Madrid? Sadly there’s no face to face networking at this year’s ESMO20 virtual meeting!
In this third ESMO 2020 Preview the focus is on early stage immunotherapies – we’ll cover targeted therapies in a separate review article.
As new regimens evolve involving multiple immune targets, this complexity brings with it a greater need to understand cell-cell interactions – not just immune cell relationships, but also oncogenic, metabolic, and even epigenetic ones. How do they all fit together and what happens when we interfere with those relationships therapeutically?
Often the simple answer is we don’t know until we head into the clinic, I’m afraid.
Beyond the obvious phase 3 IO readouts in the various Presidential symposia and Proffered oral sessions there are quite a few emerging ideas – old ones with a twist as well as entirely new ones – which we can consider and discuss.
Here, we highlight five key IO areas related to cancer immunotherapy and explore the various concepts as preparation for the upcoming meeting…
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The #ASCO18 poster hall scrum
Wrapping up our cytokine mini-series, we have our latest expert in the BSB hotseat discussing concepts and future developments, as well as strategically drawing things together in a way that makes sense.
It has become increasingly clear that a hostile tumour microenvironment may account for one of the reasons why many patients don’t respond to cancer immunotherapy.
How do we go about figuring out the whys and wherefores in order to significantly improve on the results seen to date with monotherapy treatment?
There are quite a few angles to look at this conundrum, so we decided to explore some concepts and analogies, as well as look at what’s going on under the hood of IO clinical trials to address the thorny issue of tumour heterogeneity. We also discuss some of the top-line data in the cytokine niche presented at ASCO and look at the outcomes in the context of what we learn and where we going next.
There’s a lot to take in and process here, but that’s part of the fun! As often is the case, some of the best gems are in the poster halls or poster discussion sessions…
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Dr James Gulley is Chief of the Genito-Urinary malignancies branch and Director of the Medical Oncology service at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the National Institutes of Health. He’s a world-leading GU cancer expert and at the forefront of pioneering research to make cancer immunotherapy work in prostate cancer.
We last spoke to him at ASCO 2015 (See post: The future of prostate cancer immunotherapy). You can listen to excerpts from this interview on Episode 4 of the Novel Targets podcast (See: The non-inflamed tumour show).
Almost two years on, and new research by Dr Gulley and colleagues from the NCI shows that the STING pathway may have an important role to play in prostate cancer immunotherapy. Activation of this pathway through a novel mechanism could turn a cold non-inflamed tumor into a more inflamed or hotter one in men with advanced prostate cancer. How cool is that?!
At the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) that was recently held in Washington DC, Dr Gulley graciously spoke to BSB about some of the novel trials that are underway at the NCI, with the aim of making cancer immunotherapy work in men with advanced prostate cancer.
Dr Jim Gulley, NCI at AACR17
This is the seventh expert interviews in our series from AACR17 where we explore the conundrum:
How does Dr Gulley plan to light the immune camp fire in prostate cancer?
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