We’re continuing our series of posts from the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) with an expert interview on how circulating tumor DNA could change breast cancer treatment.
There has been a noticeable increase in attention and focus on the application of liquid tests – especially from blood – over the last five years, culminating in a spinoff company called Grail from the deep sequencing giant, Illumina, announcing a massive funding round earlier this month.
At the time of the BSB expert interview in San Antonio, we had no idea that the Grail news was going to hit just a couple of weeks later!
While much of the media attention surrounding Grail has focused on the early detection of cancer in apparently healthy individuals, there’s actually a much more useful application where it could be more immediately applied to great effect.
Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) or cell free DNA (cfDNA) has the potential to revolutionise and improve monitoring over time for people with cancer who are receiving therapy.
This is the third in our series of expert interviews from the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (#SABCS16).
Subscribers can login to learn more about this exciting field.
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).
Subscribers can login to read more.