MLK Memorial, Washington DC
We’re continuing our previews of the forthcoming 2017 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Washington DC with a look at an emerging pathway that may impact checkpoint therapy.
It’s an exciting time in cancer immunotherapy, although only a small minority of people have remarkable long-term durable responses and the reality is that most patients, even if they respond initially, end up relapsing at some point.
There’s still a lot to learn about cancer immunotherapy – we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.
At AACR17 we can expect to see insights on the direction the field is going. In this post we take a look at an emerging pathway, and some of the key presentations and posters that you should see if you are in DC for the meeting.
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Orlando, Florida: It’s time for a review of emerging science and clinical concepts. This post is the final one in our latest series from ASCO-SITC.
Here we take a step back and highlight six key emerging trends and ideas that were either presented in talks and posters, or are sentiments based on conversations with attendees in the poster halls or corridors.
Sometimes those discussions are pretty helpful in giving hints on new dirrections before the actual data eventually comes out.
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We’re continuing our coverage of highlights from the inaugural ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium with a look at a novel way to potentially improve the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors.
It’s not something we’ve previously written about, nor is it included in the recent Chen & Mellman Nature paper that discusses “factors that influence the cancer-immune set point.”
So there’s a good chance it may not be on your radar either.
Given the commercial stakes at play in improving checkpoint efficacy, combination strategies that could have an impact are worth thinking about when it comes to designing clinical trials.
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The first day of the 2016 EORTC-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets meeting brought us chilly weather and a frozen lake outside the conference centre in Munich. Brrrr!
It also heralded a great lineup of cancer researchers largely characterised by unconventional thinking. This, of course, is a good thing because it is only by dismissing dogma that a field can move forward unconstrained.
There were several talks that I will come back to in a separate post, but here I wanted to focus on one particularly good talk on breast cancer, something we haven’t covered in a while.
A decade or two ago, breast cancer made a lot of progress – we saw the emergence of gene expression profiling, the identification of different histology types, treatments for hormonal sensitivity or HER2-positivity and then… nothing. Meanwhile, the issue of drug resistance plagued researchers – why don’t all women respond and why do they become resistant?
In the meantime, we’ve seen a wealth of progress in melanoma, lung, kidney and bladder cancers, enormous strides in hematologic malignancies and many other areas. Breast cancer, the early star, seems to have faded and we haven’t had much to be cheerful about aside from a few isolated cases.
The good news is that things are a-changin’ though and research is looking more promising as we learn from lessons in basic and translational research and how they can be applied to new therapeutics and drug resistance.
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There were so many posters worthy of further analysis and discussion at ASCO this year that we may well need to write a longer series than usual on some of these hidden gems!
If you’re anything like me, just getting round the massive poster hall melée each day in one piece to nab the QR codes and chat to some KOLs felt like an achievement in itself, never mind having the time to read and digest them properly. This is why it’s nice to sit down and process some of the findings afterwards because there was actually quite a lot to learn on the nuances with later reflection.
So what’s on deck in the hot seat today?
Here, we focus on the importance of the tumour microenvironment and how that can be manipulated so that subsequent therapy can be more effective.
Fortunately, there are a number of different approaches that can potentially achieve this lofty goal, at least preclinically, but what happens in the real world when these concepts are actually tested in people with cancer?
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