2016 New Directions in Cancer Care for Nonspecialists: Immunotherapy and Resistance to Therapy

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CME Credits Available

January 14, 2016

This seminar will cover both synthetic biology approaches to improve the efficacy and safety of adoptive T-cell therapy, and the use of combination anticancer therapies to achieve complete remission and cures for patients with cancer.

About the course

This course will cover two major directions in oncology research: immunotherapy and overcoming drug resistance.

One of the main barriers to converting cancer therapies into cures is drug resistance. Cancer cells often develop resistance to even the most effective therapies. For example, treatment for ovarian cancers comprises a combination of surgery and chemotherapy, but patients typically experience disease relapse within 2 years of the initial treatment, often because the cancer cells have developed resistance to first-line chemotherapy.

Another aspect related to disease relapse is dormancy, a stage in cancer progression in which residual disease is present but remains asymptomatic. For example, breast cancer can reoccur, often as bone metastasis, years or decades after the primary tumor has been treated. The factors that stimulate dormant metastases to grow are not known, motivating a desire to target tumor cells while they are in this dormant state.

The immune system has the greatest potential for the specific destruction of tumors with minimal toxicity to normal tissue and for long-term memory that can prevent cancer recurrence. One approach to immunotherapy involves engineering patients’ own immune cells to recognize and attack their tumors. Conceptual and technical advances in immune-oncology have enabled us to develop targeted activation of the immune system for the treatment of cancer. This seminar will cover both synthetic biology approaches to improve the efficacy and safety of adoptive T cell therapy, and the use of combination anticancer therapies to achieve complete remission and cures for patients with cancer.

Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Agenda

Location

Colloquium Room, Room 906
Boston University Photonics Center
8 St. Mary’s Street, Boston, MA 02215

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