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Tumor Models for Preclinical Assessment of Cancer Immunotherapy

The immune system can be programmed to recognize and destroy cancerous cells infected by viruses or affected by transforming genetic or epigenetic alterations. If properly activated, a specific immune attack can lead to a long-term remission or even cure. We are witnessing the renaissance of the concept of immune-mediated cancer therapy, and the need of predictive models for its preclinical assessment is at an all-time high.

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Tumor Models for Preclinical Assessment of Cancer Immunotherapy is designed to feature and discuss cutting-edge complex immunocompetent models for cancer immunotherapy research as well as to present case studies of their successful applications.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Oncology Brochure 

Thursday, May 22

9:30 am Registration

Bridging Session between Four Oncology Tracks**

10:30 Bridging Session ChairJonathan Wall, Ph.D., University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine 

10:35 Targeted NGS Applications for Detection of Somatic Mutations

Oleg IartchoukOleg Iartchouk, Ph.D., Director, Genomics and Next-Generation Sequencing, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

This talk will give an overview of NGS applications used to discover somatic point mutations and short insertion deletions in different types of cancer samples. Potential promise for some of them in clinical settings will be discussed.

11:05 Accelerating Preclinical Drug Development by in vivo and ex vivo Imaging in Cancer Models: Optimizing Discovery to Delivery

Werner ScheuerWerner Scheuer, Research Leader, Pharma Research and Early Development, Discovery Oncology, Roche Diagnostics GmbH

The presentation will discuss the following topics: application of different imaging modalities to monitor the efficacy of compounds on primary tumor growth, metastasis and angiogenesis; simultaneous measurement of Pk and Pd; optimizing application schedules regarding combination therapies; and verification of in vivo imaging data by 3-dimensional multispectral fluorescence histology.

11:35 FEATURED PRESENTATION: The Critical Role of Extracellular Matrix and Microenvironment in Metastasis and Dormancy

Mina BissellMina J. Bissell, Ph.D., Distinguished Scientist, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

I will discuss why and how we developed, and use, 3-dimensional models of normal mammary gland and mammary tumors from both mice and humans to understand breast cancer, and will present recent work, shedding light on why tissue and organ architecture should become also a parameter in cancer research, and how architecture can regulate tissue-specificity as well as the plasticity of tumors. I will also discuss newer and more complex models we have developed to understand metastasis and dormancy and a screen that has allowed us to discover a new class of ‘oncogenes’ in the EGFR/PI3 Kinase.

ONCOdesign Biotechnology12:05 pm  An Integrative Approach to the Evaluation, Selection and Orientation of Novel Cancer Therapeutics

JonathanewingJonathan Ewing, Business Development Director, Oncodesign

The challenge in identifying the preclinical activity of cancer therapeutics and orientating their best clinical use is associating relevant in vivo models of human disease with effective pharmacological evaluation and biomarkers.  Oncodesign’s precision medicine approach to clinical drug candidate selection integrates appropriate in vivo models, extensive pharmacological expertise and pharmaco-imaging tools to provide quantitative, predictive and translational evidence early in drug development.



1:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Debbie Liao, Ph.D., Research Investigator, Oncology Pharmacology, Genomics; Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation

1:30 FEATURED PRESENTATION: Promises and Pitfalls of Preclinical Strategies to Support Development of Cancer Immunotherapies

James SmothersJames F. Smothers, Ph.D., Senior Director & Head, Immuno-Biology,
Immuno-Oncology & Combinations DPU, Oncology R&D, GlaxoSmithKline

T cell checkpoint modulation using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific to the CTLA-4, PD-1 / PDL-1 & related pathways is emerging as a powerful strategy to provide significant clinical benefit to cancer patients across several solid tumor indications including melanoma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Such clinical successes in immunotherapy for cancer have been greatly dependent upon animal disease model studies to support pre-clinical rationale for their development.


2:00 Choosing the Right Syngeneic Model for Immunotherapy : The "SyngeOmic" Approach

Michelle Morrow, Ph.D., Research Scientist II, Medimmune

With the recent FDA approvals, the modulation of the immune system is now a clinically validated approach to treat cancer. MedImmune continues to develop assets and expertise in Immune Mediated Therapies (IMT). The in vivo assessment of IMT molecules is enabled by the use of murine tumours in immunocompetent mice. With the aims of selecting relevant models, we have conducted a detailed genetic and cellular characterization of our models. The resulting dataset will help pre-clinical scientists to refine their in vivo plans by testing novel hypothesis in appropriate models.

2:30 Evaluating Immunotherapies Using Preclinical Models

Debbie Liao, Ph.D., Research Investigator, Oncology Pharmacology, Genomics; Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation

Preclinical modeling for tumor immunotherapy presents unique challenges. Not only is an intact immune system required, but the mechanism of action may be varied and involve multiple cell types across different tissue compartments. We will present some of the approaches we have employed for monitoring immune modulation in pre-clinical murine tumor models.

3:00 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


3:40 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

 Michelle Morrow, Ph.D., Research Scientist II, Medimmune  

3:45 FEATURED PRESENTATION: Autochthonous Versus Transplantable Tumor Models For Cancer Immunotherapy: The Importance Of Host/Tumor Interactions

Benoît Van den EyndeProf. Benoît Van den Eynde, M.D, Ph.D., Branch Director, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium

Most preclinical tumor models use transplantable tumors. Although these have a number of practical advantages, they do not recapitulate the long-term host/tumor interactions that eventually result in immune tolerance of the growing tumor by the host. Autochthonous tumors that can be induced in genetically-modified animals therefore provide better models for cancer immunotherapy. This will be illustrated using an inducible melanoma model.

4:15 Dendritic Cell/Tumor Fusion Vaccination for The Treatment of Hematologic Malignancy

Jacalyn RosenblattJacalyn Rosenblatt, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

A major area of research interest lies in developing cellular immunotherapeutic approaches that may elicit a tumor specific immune response. Critical aspects to consider in designing a tumor vaccine include effectively presenting tumor-associated antigens in the context of necessary co-stimulation, overcoming the immunosuppressive milieu that is characteristic of patients with malignancy, preventing the re-establishment of tolerance, and targeting tumor heterogeneity.


Taconic_NEW 4:45 Humanized Mouse Models: Modeling the Human Immune System for Preclinical Safety and Efficacy  

MichaelSeilerMichael Seiler, Ph.D., Manager, Scientific Markeitng, Taconic

In the preclinical world mice are the most widely used animal models, however 96% of drugs that pass the preclinical drug development phase fail in clinical trials largely due to species-specific differences. To vastly improve predictability a humanized mouse immune system has been developed on the NOD/Shi-scid/IL-2Rγnull (NOG) base immunodeficient strain.


5:15 ErbB-Targeted CAR T Cell Immunotherapy of Cancer: A Strategy to Maximize the Window of Therapeutic Opportunity

John MaherJohn Maher, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Immunology, NIHR Biomedical, Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London

A CAR-based immunotherapy has been developed to target the extended ErbB family. Efficacy has been demonstrated in xenograft models of several cancers, without toxicity. However, IP delivery promotes cytokine release syndrome via recognition of mouse ErbBs and macrophage activation. To de-risk in man, patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer will receive CAR T cells by intratumoral injection.

5:45 PANEL DISCUSSION: Preclinical Strategies for Cancer Immunotherapy Development

Moderator: John Maher, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Immunology, NIHR Biomedical, Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London

Panelists: Speakers of the Session

6:15 Close of Day

Day 1 | Day 2 | Oncology Brochure 

Five Programs Dedicated to Preclinical Models in Oncology at World Pharma Congress 2014 

Despite tremendous progress in our understanding of cancer biology, most novelanticancer therapies fail in Phase III clinical trials. Can we break this paradigm with more predictive preclinical studies? Join pharmaceutical, biotech and academic stakeholders May 21-23 in Boston, for interactive sessions, panel discussions and short courses all geared toward providing opportunities for active networking and collaborating, while gaining strategic insights into solutions for increasing the reproducibility and predictability of preclinical cancer studies.

Suggested Event Package:

May 22-23

Pre-Conference Short Course*

How To Best Utilize Organotypic 3D Cell Cultures Assays In Oncology 

* Separate registration required