Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center talked about recent developments and new research findings in immunotherapy at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Research Propelling Cancer Prevention and Cures, April 1-5 in Washington, D.C.
The meeting included talks from experts who discussed cancer research, the successes and failures encountered by immunotherapy approaches, and the lessons learned so far. Some of these presentations included:
- “Engineering Adoptive T-Cell Therapy For Efficacy In Ovarian Cancer” by Kristin Anderson. The presentation included data on the use of T-cell therapy to fight ovarian cancer, a type of tumor associated with poor prognosis and few treatment options. Previous work showed T-cells kill ovarian cancer cells and prolonged survival in mice. But fighting ovarian cancer with this therapy poses some challenges, which Anderson addressed in her presentation.
- “Translational Mass Spectrometry: Making The Genome Actionable For Cancer Patients,” by Amanda Paulovich. She and her team are currently developing novel strategies to efficiently measure the levels of proteins associated with cancer onset.
- In “Intratumoral Injection Of The Toll-Like Receptor 4 Agonist G100 Induces A T-Cell Response In The Soft Tissue Sarcoma Microenvironment,” researcher Yongwoo Seo talked about the positive effects obtained after injecting a drug called G100 (an experimental drug based on a bacterial molecule) in patients with metastatic soft-tissue sarcomas. The small study showed G100 stimulated the activation of the immune system and controlled the growth of tumors in 14 of 15 patients. In one patient, the tumor completely regressed. More information on this potential new vaccine can be found here.
- “Understanding Success And Failure Of T-Cell Therapy For B-Cell Malignancies” by Stanley Riddell, one of the scientists whose research has played a major contribution in the development of CAR T-cell therapy. More information on his work can be found here.
- “Targeting Pathogen-Induced Malignancies: Lessons Learned From Adoptive T Cell Transfer For Merkel Cell Carcinoma,” presented by Aude Chapuis, who works toward improving T-cell therapy by modifying T-cells to target cancer-specific molecules. Her previous work has shown that genetically engineered T-cells that target a molecule called WT1 may help prevent leukemia relapse. More information on her work can be found here.
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that aims to boost the patient’s own immune system to detect and eliminate cancer cells. It uses molecules produced by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer growth.