Interactive Breakout Discussions

These interactive discussion groups are open to all attendees, speakers, sponsors, & exhibitors. Participants choose a specific breakout discussion group to join. Each group has a moderator to ensure focused discussions around key issues within the topic. This format allows participants to meet potential collaborators, share examples from their work, vet ideas with peers, and be part of a group problem-solving endeavor. The discussions provide an informal exchange of ideas and are not meant to be a corporate or specific product discussion.

TUESDAY 19 MARCH

Immunomodulatory Approaches

9:35 – 10:35 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussions

Importance of Fc Receptor Functions and Isotype Selection for the Development of Therapeutic Antibodies for Cancer

Moderator: Stephen A. Beers, PhD, Professor of Immunology and Immunotherapy, Centre for Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton

  • Importance of determining target antigen and  Fc receptor expression profile for testing a new antibody and target
  • Different mechanisms of action involved for different antibody isotypes
  • Measures to alter antibody affinity for activating and inhibitory Fc receptors
  • Means of manipulating Fc Receptors to enhance the activity of checkpoint inhibitors and agonists
  • Challenges encountered while translating finding in mice into human IgG-based therapeutics 

Challenges and Immunosuppressive Mechanisms that Restrict Anti-Tumour Functions of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Tumour Microenvironment

Moderators: Sophia N. Karagiannis, BA, MS, PhD, Reader, Translational Cancer Immunology, King’s College London

Christian Klein, Ph.D., Distinguished Scientist, Head, Oncology Programs, Roche Innovation Center Zurich

  • Selection of target antigens for antibody immunotherapy of solid tumours
  • Target antigen heterogeneity and its influence on anti-tumour functions of antibodies; escape mechanisms.
  • Importance of affinity to the target antigen and to Fc receptors for:
    • tissue penetration 
    • anti-tumour functions
  • Interrogating the cytokine environment and the immunosuppresive cell populations infiltrating tumours

Checkpoint Refractory Patients – Solving the Problem

R.J. Tesi, MD, CEO and CMO, INmuneBio

  • How to manage CPI resistant patients
  • Predicting CPI resistance
  • Preventing CPI resistance
  • Monitoring for CPI resistance

Challenges with Targeting Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Moderator: Matthew McCourt, PhD, VP, Immuno-Oncology, Kymab

  • New targets beyond PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4
  • Assays to assess multiple mechanism-of-action: in vitro, mouse, and monkey
  • Hitting multiple targets: combinations vs. multi-specific antibodies
  • To what extent can biomarkers predict clinical efficacy and safety?

Biomarkers for Immuno-Oncology

9:35 – 10:35 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussion

Biomarkers to Predict Response and Toxicity to Immunotherapy

Moderator: Roxana Dronca, MD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Consultant and Chair, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Mayo Clinic

  • Tissue-based biomarkers in predicting response to immune checkpoint therapy
  • Blood based biomarkers for response and toxicity
  • Future directions (microbiome and others)

WEDNESDAY 20 MARCH

Combination Immunotherapy

15:05 - 16:05 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussions

Why Are IO-Combination Therapies Harder to Develop than Anticipated?

Moderator: Alexander Eggermont, MD, PhD, Professor Surgical Oncology, University Paris-Sud; Director General, Direction, Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Requirements for successful combinations: different MOAs
  • Redundancy in trial designs and in MOA
  • Simultaneous vs. sequential scheduling

Optimal Checkpoint Combinations

Moderator: Angus Dalgleish, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath, FMedSci, Foundation Professor of Oncology SGUL, Principal of the Institute of Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy, Institute of Infection and Immunity, St George’s University of London

  • Optimal combinations to enhance effect of CPIs without enhancing toxicity.
  • How important is sequence of different therapies in determining outcome?
  • How important is the microbiome in determining outcome, especially with regards to combinations, and how practical are current corrective strategies?

Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy

15:05 - 16:05 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussions

Virotherapy for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

Moderator: Ulrich M. Lauer, MD, Professor & Vice Chairman, Internal Medicine VIII, Medicine, University Hospital Tübingen

  • Types of oncolytic viruses to be employed
  • Modalities of locoregional application (single shot vs. repetitive)
  • Combination therapies with immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • Resistance phenomena including complement inhibition of virotherapeutics
  • Real-time monitoring possibilities employing state-of-the-art marker genes

The Power of Reporter Gene Imaging: The Pharmacologists Dream

Moderator: Stephen J. Russell, MD, PhD, CEO, Vyriad, Inc.

  • Tailoring of OV doses, routes and regimens to address the unpredictability and heterogeneity of clinical responses
  • Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic correlates in clinical trials
  • Determining the impact of dose, route, method of administration, tumor histology, tumor genetics and immunomodulatory drugs

FRIDAY 22 MARCH

Adoptive T-Cell Therapy

10:05 – 11:00 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussions

Innate Killer Cells for Adoptive Immunotherapy: Advantages & Challenges

Moderator: Mark A. Exley, PhD, Vice President, Cellular Immunology, AgenTus Therapeutics, Inc.

  • Innate killer lymphocytes offer potential advantages over conventional blood T cells
  • Innate killer lymphocytes can be more challenging to prepare for ACT: example approaches
  • Innate killer lymphocytes may offer unique opportunities in allogeneic/‘uni. donor’ ACT

How to Use CAR T Cells Effectively in a Solid Cancer Setting

Moderator: Phil Darcy, PhD, Professor, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Laboratory Head Cancer Immunotherapy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

  • Immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment
  • Target antigens
  • Combination approaches
  • Trafficking of T cells

Adoptive T Cell Therapy for Solid Tumor: The Challenges to Face

Moderator: Anna Mondino, PhD, Head, Lymphocyte Activation Unit, Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, DIBIT

  • Strategies to overcome physical and functional barriers
  • Vessel remodeling/targeting
  • Immunosuppressive mechanisms
  • Improving intratumoral T cell representation
  • Optimize delivery of cells and drugs

Preclinical and Translational Immuno-Oncology

10:05 – 11:00 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussion

How Can We Leverage Cutting Edge in vivo Preclinical Models for Cancer Immunotherapy Profiling?

Sara Colombetti, PhD, Head of Oncology Discovery Pharmacology, Research and Early Development (pRED), Roche Pharma

  • Advanced mice models
  • Organoids, how can they be best employed?
  • Immuno-pharmacodynamics evaluation technologies