Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘NK Cell Therapy’

The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is an event we at Biotech Strategy Blog really enjoy writing about due to the outstanding depth and breadth of the scientific content.

The 2021 organizers led by program committee chair Prof Charles Swanton FRS are to be congratulated in putting together a meeting that has something for everyone involved with cancer research, whether you’re in academia, industry, or clinical practice.

While we may miss the personal contact of real life meetings there are many advantages to the virtual format, including the avoidance of scheduling conflicts, the ease of hearing and seeing presentations without worrying about the person in front or poor room audio quality, not to mention the ability to stop and rewind a presentation if you didn’t quite catch what was said. The virtual format definitely improves accessibility for those who are disabled or for whom English may be a second or third language.

When the world moves on to hybrid virtual/live meetings as looks likely in 2022 then we hope we won’t lose all the advantages of the virtual meeting concept. It’s outside the scope of BSB, but there is an opportunity to reimagine the medical/scientific meeting rather than simply go back to what we had before.

Spring flowers herald the start of a new cancer conference season

In this preview post we’re taking a look at the “on-demand” sessions available starting on April 9, 2021 – we’ve selected fifteen presentations which caught our attention. Some are by researchers we’ve interviewed on BSB, others are stories we’ve been following around a particular topic or target.

If you’re looking to go outside your own area of interest at AACR21 and are overwhelmed with choice then this post offers a few suggestions and explains why they should be worth watching.

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Cellular immunotherapy with Natural Killer (NK) cells is emerging as a potentially effective treatment option for older patients (more than 60 years of age) with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

AML remains a disease with high unmet medical need, particular for those patients who relapse and are ineligible for a stem cell transplant (SCT).

There’s considerable buzz around adoptive cellular therapy and, in particular, chimeric antigen receptor modified T cells (CAR T cells). It is important, however, to note that there are other approaches worthy of consideration. See post: Could a Novel Cell Therapy replace CAR T cell therapy?

Cancer immunotherapy targeting NK cells has already shown some early promising results in AML. We await the read out of the EFFIKIR trial data for lirilumab (Innate Pharma/BMS), an anti KIR (killer inhibitory receptor monoclonal antibody (See post: Innate Pharma at an Inflexion Point, an interview with Hervé Brailly).

357-cover-sourceRizwan Romee, Maximilian Rosario, Melissa Berrien-Elliott and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis (@WUSTLmed) recently published the results of a clinical trial with a novel NK cell therapy: “Cytokine-induced memory-like natural killer cells exhibit enhanced responses against myeloid leukemia.”

The paper was published on 21 September, 2016 in Science Translational Medicine (link).

Melissa Berrien-Elliott, PhD. Photo Credit: Fehniger Laboratory, Washington University

To better understand the trial results and what they tell us about NK cell therapy in AML, BSB spoke with one of the joint first authors, Melissa Berrien-Elliot, PhD (pictured right) and senior author, Todd A Fehniger MD PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Washington University.

This post is part of our series on the innate immune system.

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