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What Cancer Patients Should Know: Latest Immunotherapy News from ASCO 2016

June 09, 2016

The world's largest oncology meeting convened June 3-7, 2016 in Chicago to share new advances in the clinic and discuss steps forward in the effective treatment of cancer. At this year's meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Cancer Research Institute gathered a panel of experts to break down the scientific and medical news for patients: what cancer patients should know and what it means for their treatment options. 

Hear from CRI's panel of immunotherapy experts on the breaking news from the year's biggest oncology meeting (ASCO).

Panelists include Andrew G. Sikora, M.D., Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine, and Leena Gandhi, M.D., Ph.D., of NYU Langone Health, and Michel Sadelain, Ph.D., of Memorail Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., of the Cancer Research Institute, moderates.

We present this video as part of the Answer to Cancer patient and caregiver education program of the Cancer Research Institute, and feature it as part of our fourth annual global awareness campaign, Cancer Immunotherapy Month, in June.

Featured Panelists

Andrew G. Sikora, M.D., Ph.D., is the vice chair for research in Otolaryngology and co-director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program at the Baylor College of Medicine. He has led several clinical trials, some of which seek to understand how standard cancer therapies influence anti-tumor immune responses, while others test novel immunotherapies for patients with head and neck cancer. His research focuses on identifying and reversing mechanisms of immune suppression utilized by HPV-related and tobacco-associated head and neck cancers, and other solid tumors, to evade immune-mediated destruction. 

Leena Gandhi, M.D., Ph.D., is the Director of Thoracic Medical Oncology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. Her work, which has mostly dealt with lung cancer, has investigated the use of checkpoint inhibitors for lung cancer patients. She was the lead investigator on a pivotal phase 1 clinical trial that showed the usefulness of using PD-L1 as a biomarker for patients receiving anti-PD-L1 checkpoint immunotherapy. These biomarker efforts aim to enable doctors to better predict which patients will benefit from immunotherapy, and furthermore, to allow them to better monitor patients undergoing immunotherapy to determine how they’re responding. Together, these should provide doctors with tools that can improve immunotherapy’s ability to help improve the survival of lung cancer patients.

Michel Sadelain, Ph.D., is founding director of the Center for Cell Engineering and head of the Gene Transfer and Gene Expression Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he holds the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair. He is also a member of the departments of medicine and pediatrics at Memorial Hospital and the molecular pharmacology and chemistry program of the Sloan Kettering Institute. Dr. Sadelain has made major contributions to the generation and optimization of CAR T cells to treat cancer, as well as the development of stem cell therapies for blood disorders. Dr. Sadelain’s work has focused on developing novel strategies to extend survival of CAR T cells in the body and enable T cells with increased potency to overcome the resistance imposed by tumor and other cells in the tumor microenvironment.

 

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