Anti-cancer immune response "a la carte": Recent advances and future developments of immunotherapy

September 4, 2020 10:15 - 11:45

Location: Virtual Room 2

About

One of the first lines of defence against cancer is our own immune system. It is able to recognise the tumor cells as foreign entities and to destroy them at early stages. Cancer immunotherapy is a rapidly expanding field that explores immunological mechanisms and treatments for fighting tumors. These therapies work through various approaches: they can be (i) substances that will stimulate the patient’s own immune system, (ii) antibodies specifically recognising the cancer cells, (iii) cancer vaccines or (iv) treatments inhibiting the immune checkpoints of the patient allowing a better recognition and destruction of the cancer cells. In 2016, the first clinical trials using gene editing approaches to modify immune cells, opened new avenues in immunotherapy. While still at the experimental stage, clinical trials using immunotherapy have shown promising results in combination to other treatments. The recent Nobel Prize awarded to this field further highlights the importance immunotherapy has taken in the anti-tumor spectrum of treatments. This session aims to shed light on the recent advances in immunotherapy, to discuss its future developments and its place in the current array of treatments against cancer, and in general the use of gene editing technologies to treat patients.

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