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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2018 Oct 30. pii: S1359-6101(18)30125-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2018.10.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Innovative therapy, monoclonal antibodies, and beyond: Highlights from the eighth annual meeting.

Author information

1
Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapeutics Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
2
Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapeutics Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; Unit of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
3
Molecular Targeting Unit, Department of Research, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
4
Medical Oncology Unit, Dept of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
5
Radiotherapy and Radiosurgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, 20089, Rozzano, Milano, Italy.
6
Laboratorio Pasteur, Istituto Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci-Bolognetti, 00161, Rome, Italy.
7
Center for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; Department. of Cellular Therapy and Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway; The KG Jebsen Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
8
Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, University College London Cancer Institute, London, UK.
9
Medical Oncology Unit, Dept of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
10
Unit of Immunotherapy of Human Tumors, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
11
Molecular Immunology Unit, Department of Research, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
12
Tumor Immunology Unit, Department of Health Science, Human Pathology Section, University of Palermo School of Medicine, Palermo, Italy.
13
Thoracic Oncology, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; Fondazione Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare (IFOM), Milan, Italy.
14
Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus (GRCC), Villejuif, France; Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), Villejuif, France; Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Center of Clinical Investigations in Biotherapies of Cancer (CICBT), Villejuif, France.
15
Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapeutics Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; Medical Oncology Unit, Dept of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy. Electronic address: massimo.dinicola@istitutotumori.mi.it.

Abstract

The eighth annual conference of "Innovative therapy, monoclonal antibodies, and beyond" was held in Milan on Jan. 26, 2018, and hosted by Fondazione IRCCS-Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (Fondazione IRCCS INT). The conference was divided into two main scientific sessions, of i) pre-clinical assays and novel biotargets, and ii) clinical translation, as well as a third session of presentations from young investigators, which focused on recent achievements within Fondazione IRCCS INT on immunotherapy and targeted therapies. Presentations in the first session addressed the issue of cancer immunotherapy activity with respect to tumor heterogeneity, with key topics addressing: 1) tumor heterogeneity and targeted therapy, with the definition of the evolutionary Index as an indicator of tumor heterogeneity in both space and time; 2) the analysis of cancer evolution, with the introduction of the TRACERx Consortium-a multi-million pound UK research project focused on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); 3) the use of anti-estrogen agents to boost immune recognition of breast cancer cells; and 4) the high degree of functional plasticity within the NK cell repertoire, including the expansion of adaptive NK cells following viral challenges. The second session addressed: 1) the effectiveness of radiotherapy to enhance the proportion of patients responsive to immune-checkpoint blockers (ICBs); 2) the use of MDSC scores in selecting melanoma patients with high probability to be responsive to ICBs; and 3) the relevance of the gut microbiome as a predictive factor, and the potential of its perturbation in increasing the immune response rate to ICBs. Overall, a picture emerged of tumor heterogeneity as the main limitation that impairs the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies. Thus, the choice of a specific therapy based on reproducible and selective predictive biomarkers is an urgent unmet clinical need that should be addressed in order to increase the proportion of long-term responding patients and to improve the sustainability of novel drugs.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer metabolism; Cancer stemness signaling; Immune checkpoints inhibition; Immunotherapy; Microbiota; Targeted therapy; Tumor heterogeneity

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