Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural

Clinical Cancer Immunotherapy

Translating Cancer Therapy from Promise to Reality

February 19-20, 2015 | The InterContinental San Francisco | San Francisco, CA
Part of the 22nd International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference


About this Symposium:

There is a great need for more effective and less toxic therapies for metastatic cancer patients. Advances in genetically engineered T cells is demonstrating clinical efficacy, eliminating many side effects from traditional chemo- and radiation therapies. Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Inaugural Clinical Cancer Immunotherapy symposium will demonstrate bench to bedside translation of combination immunotherapies, adoptive T cell therapies, as well as molecular targeted therapies. Case studies using prognostic biomarkers to predict immunotherapy response will also be showcased. The human immune system is inherently capable of recognizing and destroying cancer cells. At this event, attendees will learn more about the translational advances that are converting the promise of immunotherapy into reality for cancer treatment.

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Thursday, February 19

7:30 am Registration and Morning Coffee


9:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

James R. Mansfield, Director, Quantitative Pathology Applications, PerkinElmer

9:10 Monitoring Immune Competence by Mass Cytometry

Holden T. Maecker, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Research), Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University

Tumors and traditional cancer therapies are immunosuppressive. Yet immunotherapies require specific immune competence, which is rarely measured, for their success. I will describe the use of highly multiparametric mass cytometry (CyTOF) to monitor baseline immune competence of patients undergoing immunotherapy. We hope to find predictive biomarkers of outcome, and perhaps eventually biomarkers to aid in the choice of immunotherapy.

9:40 Peripheral Blood Immune Profiles and Their Potential to Maximize Response to Immune Therapy

Allan B. Dietz, Ph.D., Co-Director, The Human Cell Therapy Lab, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine

We developed techniques to count more than 100 distinct leukocytes in peripheral blood. More than 200 controls and patients have been analyzed using a bioinformatics approach. We will show the prognostic approach of this technique and its potential to guide immune based therapies.

10:10 Searching for Tumor-Specific Antigens

Qi Zhao, Ph.D., Fellow, Bioinformatics Scientist, Molecular Profiling, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

10:40 Coffee Break with Exhibit and Poster Viewing

11:15 Applications of Systems Biology in Cancer Immunotherapy: Characterizing Immune Responses and Biomarkers of Clinical Outcome

Debraj GuhaThakurta, Director, Computational & Systems Biology, Dendreon Corporation

Characterization of the immunological mechanism of action against tumors and the identification of predictive as well as pharmacodynamic biomarkers of clinical outcome are important needs for cancer immunotherapies. We are using various high-content platforms (DNA/protein microarrays, NGS, Luminex) to address such needs for sipuleucel-T, an autologous cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Results from several of these studies will be presented. Such approaches may be broadly useful for other cancer immunotherapies.

11:45 Type 1 Immunity as a Biomarker for Clinical Response to Immune Therapy of Cancer

William (Bill) Watt, Ph.D., University of Washington Tumor Vaccine Group; CEO & Co-Founder, EpiThany, Inc.

Successful immune therapy of cancer requires tumor-specific Type 1 immunity, whether existing or provided. Evidence of Type 1 immunity such as cross-priming of tumor-proximal T-cells and epitope spreading are amenable to assay in clinical trials, as are the TCR sequences of TILs. We are developing new tumor vaccines to elicit exclusively Type 1 immunity which will capitalize on this approach to clinical biomarkers in cancer.

12:15 pm Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:30 Session Break

12:40 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Lunch on Your Own

1:15 Session Break


1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

William (Bill) Watt, Ph.D., University of Washington Tumor Vaccine Group; CEO & Co-Founder, EpiThany, Inc.

2:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: Moving Forward with Prognostic Biomarkers for Immunotherapy

Moderator: William (Bill) Watt, Ph.D., University of Washington Tumor Vaccine Group; CEO & Co-Founder, EpiThany, Inc.

Panelists: Holden T. Maecker, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Research), Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University

Allan B. Dietz, Ph.D., Co-Director, of the Human Cell Therapy Lab, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine

3:00 Refreshment Break with Exhibit and Poster Viewing

3:30 Functional Analysis of Disease and Treatment-Associated Changes in Immune Cell and Network Signaling Using Single Cell Network Profiling Targeting of Therapy Resistant Cancers

Rachael E. Hawtin, Ph.D., Vice President & Head, Research, Nodality

4:00 Management of Toxicity from Cancer Immunotherapy

Sandip Patel, M.D., Assistant Professor, Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Experimental Therapeutics (Phase 1 Program), Thoracic Oncology, Division of Hematology & Oncology and Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Cancer immunotherapy has revolutionized the field. As more cancer patients receive immunotherapy, there exists a need to better understand and manage immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Predictive biomarkers for efficacy and toxicity, as well as early intervention on irAEs, will allow patients the maximum benefit from these promising agents.

4:30 Phenotyping Immune Cells in Solid Tumors

Bernard A. Fox, Ph.D., Endowed Chair and Chief, Molecular and Tumor Immunology, Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center; Earle A Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center; Dept Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, OHSU

Our laboratory’s current focus is on understanding the tumor-induced suppressive mechanisms that blunt the efficacy of immunotherapy and developing approaches to overcome these mechanisms. This presentation will showcase some of our recent efforts that are headed into clinical trials.

5:00 Close of Day

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Friday, February 20

8:00 am Morning Coffee


8:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Barbara Mittleman, M.D., Vice President, Clinical; Head, Immunology, Nodality

8:30 Activation of iNKT Cells by NKTT320 as an Approach to Cancer Immunotherapy

Robert Mashal, Ph.D., CEO, NKT Therapeutics

Activation of iNKT cells has been shown to be a promising approach to cancer immunotherapy in both preclinical and clinical studies. NKT Therapeutics has developed NKTT320, a humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically binds and activates iNKT cells. Preclinical data of iNKT cell activating antibodies, both alone and in combination with other immunotherapeutic approaches will be presented.

9:00 Immunotherapy Combinations with Agents Targeting PD-1

Scot W. Ebbinghaus, Executive Director, Clinical Research, Merck

In this talk, I will discuss the rationale and current clinical data on immunotherapy combinations which include anti-PD1 agents.

9:30 Development of a Novel IL-12 DNA-Based Immunotherapeutic in Combination with Chemotherapy Agents for the Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Khursheed Anwer, Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President & CSO, Nucleic Acid Therapy, Celsion .

This presentation describes the clinical development of a formulated IL-12 plasmid for local (IP) treatment of peritoneally metastasized ovarian cancer. This treatment approach is designed to increase local concentrations of IL-12, a powerful immune activator, at tumor site without the systemic toxicity associated with rIL-12. The evidence of safety, immune response, and clinical benefits from clinical trials as a single agent and in combination with chemotherapeutic agents will be discussed.

10:00 Sponsored Presentations (Opportunities Available)

10:30 Coffee Break with Exhibit and Poster Viewing

11:00 Characterizing the Local Tumor Microenvironment to Develop Rational Treatment Combinations

Janis Taube, M.D., MSc, Director, Dermatopathology; Assistant Professor, Dermatology and Pathology, Johns Hopkins

My laboratory has served as the tissue pathology core for the multi-institutional clinical trials for the first-in-human anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 immunotherapies. This talk will discuss our ongoing efforts to focus on further characterizing the local tumor microenvironment with the aim of developing rational treatment combinations.

11:30 Combinations with CRS-207, a Live-Attenuated Listeria Monocytogenes Expressing Mesothelin

Dirk G. Brockstedt, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Aduro BioTech, Inc.

Aduro BioTech recently completed a Phase II trial of the combination of CRS-207 and GVAX Pancreas immunotherapies in patients with advanced-stage metastatic pancreatic cancer. This is the first randomized study to show that immunotherapy is effective in pancreatic cancer, and Aduro has initiated the follow-on Phase IIb ECLIPSE trial. Aduro is also conducting an ongoing Phase I trial of CRS-207 in combination with chemotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

12:00 pm Promise and Challenges of Immuno-Oncology

Peter P. Lee, City of Hope, Billy Wilder Endowed Professor, Chair, Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology (CITI), City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Immune therapies (Sipuleucel-T and ipilimumab) approved by the FDA in recent years extend patient survival only ~4 months average. Many new treatments are under development and hold great promise. These include PD-1/PDL-1 blocking antibodies and adoptive T cell therapy. Cancer-induced immune dysfunction is a major obstacle to the success of immunotherapy, as the tumor microenvironment prevents optimal function of immune cells. I will discuss our current understanding of these mechanisms and strategies to further enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies.

12:30 Close of Symposium

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