Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



AACR17: Immunotherapy’s Impact on the Future of Cancer Treatment

On the eve of the American Association for Cancer Research 2017 Annual Meeting (AACR17), which takes place April 1-5 in Washington, D.C., cancer immunotherapy is poised to dominate much of the discussion during this large meeting devoted to the future of cancer treatment.

“One of the most exciting areas in current cancer research is, of course, immunotherapy,” declared AACR17 program committee chair Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, in a meeting preview video published earlier this year on the AACR website.

In another signal of cancer immunotherapy’s rise, last week AACR members elected Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD—a Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Scientific Advisory Council member who is renowned for her work on immune-based therapies for patients with breast and pancreatic cancer—as their president for the 2017-2018 term.

Over the next five days in the nation’s capital, the world’s most gifted cancer scientists and doctors—many of whom work with CRI—will show why immunotherapy is transforming cancer treatment and improving outcomes for cancer patients.

Thirty-five CRI-funded scientists will offer 32 talks and over 50 poster presentations featuring their work during the conference. A plenary session titled “The Immune System and Cancer,” chaired by Dr. Jaffee, includes a talk by James P. Allison, Ph.D., director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council and a leader of the SU2C-CRI Dream Team. Dr. Allison’s talk will focus on the “insights, opportunities, and prospects for cures” offered by checkpoint immunotherapy, a breakthrough approach to cancer treatment that he pioneered.

Overall, these presentations span the spectrum of discovery, from basic research to clinical application, and highlight CRI’s commitment to advancing the science of immunology and improving immunotherapy’s benefits for more patients.

Topics CRI scientists will cover during the conference include but are not limited to:

  • taming the tumor microenvironment
  • combination immunotherapy approaches
  • adoptive T cell immunotherapies
  • targeting regulatory T cells
  • treatment resistance
  • neoantigens and vaccines
  • oncolytic viruses
  • inflammation
  • microbiome

AACR17 is shaping up to be an amazing and inspiring event, and we can’t wait to share all of the exciting news coming out of the conference with you, so check out the daily updates on our blog over the next five days.

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