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Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Scientists to Present Research on Checkpoint Inhibitors, Adoptive Cell Therapy and Other Advances in Immuno-oncology at AACR 2017

Investigators affiliated with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy will present some of the most anticipated immuno-oncology research at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. The event takes place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from April 1 through April 5.

The AACR Annual Meeting highlights the best in cancer science and medicine. The event is expected to draw more than 20,000 scientists, clinicians, advocates and others to discuss advances in the field of cancer science.

More than 85 abstracts and events at AACR 2017 feature scientists affiliated with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Below are select symposia, poster presentations and other events where Parker Institute researchers are speaking or are authors.

MAJOR SYMPOSIA AND PLENARY SESSIONS

Mechanisms of Primary and Acquired Resistance to Immunotherapy
Sponsored by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
April 4, 2017, 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Hall D-E, Level 2, Washington Convention Center

Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, Parker Institute co-director at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, chairs this symposium. Research from the labs of Parker Institute Center Director Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Parker Institute Co-Director Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, also will be presented during this session. (SY22)

The Immune System and Cancer
April 3, 2017, 8:15-10:15 a.m.
Hall D-E, Level 2, Washington Convention Center

Several Parker Institute leaders will present on during this plenary session. James Allison, PhD, Parker Institute director at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will present on “Immune checkpoint blockade in cancer therapy: Insights, opportunities, and prospects for cures.” Crystal Mackall, MD, Parker Institute Director at Stanford Medicine, will speak about “Genetically engineered T cells for cancer.” Parker Institute Scientific Steering Committee member Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medicine, will chair the session. (PL02)

Role of Interferon Pathway Signaling in Cancer Immunotherapy
April 5, 2017, 10:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
Room 146, Level 1, Washington Convention Center

Parker Institute Center Director Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA, chairs this session and will present “Resistance to checkpoint blockade through IFN-g pathway alterations” at 11:20 a.m. Robert Schreiber, PhD, a Parker Institute Scientific Steering Committee member at Washington University School of Medicine, will present on “The independent roles of Type I IFN and IFN-gamma in natural and therapeutically induced immune responses to cancer” at 10:50 a.m. (SY15)

AWARDS

Parker Institute Director Carl June, MD, of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania will be inducted as an AACR Academy Fellow during AACR 2017. The Academy is recognizing Dr. June “For designing chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia.” 

NOTABLE RESEARCH ABSTRACTS
Adoptive Cell Therapy

UCSF scientists test brain cancer immunotherapy in mice using T-cells engineered to target common neoantigen mutation

Brain cancers are the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in children and young adults, with median overall survival of nine to 10 months. To help those patients, researchers have designed T-cells that can find and kill brain cancer cells by targeting a common mutation in the protein histone 3. The research comes from the lab of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy member researcher Hideho Okada, MD, PhD, professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and director of the UCSF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Center. According to the researchers, the data provide a strong basis for developing peptide-based vaccines as well as adoptive transfer therapy using autologous T-cells designed with a T-cell receptor specific to the mutation, H3.3K27M. Read the full abstract

This research was funded in part by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.  

Other adoptive cell therapy abstracts of interest:

The principal investigator is Taha Merghoub, PhD, Parker Institute member researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Co-authors include Parker Institute Center Director Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Carl June, MD, Parker Institute director at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, is a co-author.

Checkpoint Inhibitors

Parker Institute investigators will be presenting data on some of the most important clinical trials involving checkpoint inhibitors and combinations of those therapies.

The principal investigator is Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Parker Institute Center Director at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Co-authors include Parker Institute Center Director Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA, and Michael Postow, MD, Parker Institute Member Researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The principal investigator is Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, Parker Institute co-director at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. James Allison, PhD, Parker Institute Director at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is a co-author.

Parker Institute Center Director Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA is first author.

The principal investigator is Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Parker Institute Center Director at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Microbiome and Immunotherapy

The principal investigator is Jennifer Wargo, MD, Parker Institute member researcher at the of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Parker Institute is collaborating with Dr. Wargo on clinical trials to test whether influencing the microbiome makeup will affect patient response to checkpoint blockade treatments.

Neoantigen Discovery

The principal investigator is James Heath, PhD, of Caltech, a Parker Institute member researcher. Co-authors include Parker Institute Center Director Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA.

Other Notable Research

The principal investigator is Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy CEO and President Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD. Co-authors include Parker Institute Lawrence Fong, MD, Parker Institute center co-director at UCSF, and Parker Institute Fellow Michel DuPage, also of UCSF.

Crystal Mackall, MD, Parker Institute Director at Stanford Medicine, is a co-author.   

WORKSHOPS AND OTHER SESSIONS FEATURING PARKER INSTITUTE RESEARCHERS

Cancer Immunology for the Non-Immunologist: Tutorial (educational session)April 1, 2017, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Independence Ballroom E-H, Meeting Level 4, Marriott Marquis DC

Crystal Mackall, MD, Parker Institute Director at Stanford Medicine, presents the “Immunology of pediatric cancers.”

Hideho Okada, MD, PhD, a Parker Institute member researcher from UCSF, presents on “Brain cancer immunotherapy.”

Taming the Tumor Microenvironment in Pancreatic Cancer (educational session)
April 1, 2017, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 151, Level 1, Washington Convention Center

Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, Parker Institute co-director at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, will present on “Immune vulnerabilities in pancreatic cancer” at 11:45 a.m.

Deciphering Biomarkers and Mechanisms of Stromal-Mediated Drug Responses and Resistance (educational session)
April 1, 2017, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Ballroom C, Level 3, Washington Convention Center 

Jennifer Wargo, MD, Parker Institute member researcher at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will present on “Understanding response and resistance to cancer therapy: Lessons learned from melanoma” at 11:45 a.m.

High-Dimensional Analysis of Immune Monitoring (methods workshop)
April 1, 2017, 1-3 p.m.
Room 202, Level 2, Washington Convention Center

Garry Nolan, PhD, Parker Institute member researcher at Stanford Medicine, chairs this workshop.

Immune Monitoring and Biomarker Development in the Human Model System (methods workshop)
April 1, 2017, 1-3 p.m.
Ballroom C, Level 3, Washington Convention Center

Adil Daud, MD, Parker Institute member researcher at UCSF, will present on “Response to checkpoint therapy and exhausted CTL in the tumor microenvironment” at 1 p.m.

Recent Advances in Immunotherapy Diagnostics
April 3, 2017, 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 207, Level 2, Washington Convention Center

Matthew Hellmann, MD, Parker Institute member researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will present on “DNA-based approaches to examining determinants of response and resistance to PD-1 blockade” at 10:30 a.m.

About the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy brings together the best scientists, clinicians, and industry partners to build a smarter and more coordinated cancer immunotherapy research effort.

The Parker Institute is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunologists and cancer centers: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Parker Institute was created through a $250 million grant from The Parker Foundation.

The Parker Institute’s goal is to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies capable of turning cancer into a curable disease by ensuring the coordination and collaboration of the field’s top researchers, and quickly turning their findings into patient treatments. The Parker Institute network brings together six centers, more than 40 industry and nonprofit partners, more than 63 labs and more than 300 of the nation’s top researchers focused on treating the deadliest cancers.

Contact Information:
Shirley Dang
Science Communications Manager
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
sdang@parkerici.org
415-930-4385

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