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Topics:  drug development, Immunotherapy, immuno-oncology, biomarkers, cancer research, cancer immunotherapy

Cancer Immunotherapy: Featured News Articles Of The Month (June, 14)

Jun 18, 2014 12:39:00 PM

Scientists Prime The Immune System As A Powerful Cancer Weapon

Review of ASCO starting with the summary of a proof-of principle study presented by NCI answering the question if T-cells could be utilized to fight solid tumors.

Our immune systems can unmask tumours and cure cancer, experts say, calling immuno-oncology the biggest breakthrough in years

Review of cancer immunotherapy study results from several drug companies recently presented at ASCO conference including comments to the status of Immunotherapy by several oncology experts from pharmaceutical industry and academic research such as David Hafler (Yale University), Dr. Roy Baynes (senior vice-preseident of clinical research at Merck) and Michael Giordano (Head of Oncology at BMS).

Pharma vies to unleash immune system power on cancer

An overview of ongoing cancer immunotherapy trials and related achievements of the major drug companies chasing to get a share of the estimated enormous market potential of immuno-oncology drugs.

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Topics:  drug development, Immunotherapy, Whitepaper, immuno-oncology, biomarkers, cancer research, cancer immunotherapy

New Whitepaper: An Introduction to Immunotherapy and the Promise of Tissue Phenomics™

Jun 11, 2014 12:52:00 PM

Nearly every day there seems to be exciting news or developments in the field of immunotherapy and immuno-oncology. Not only can you read all about immunotherapy research in leading scientific journals (1), but the mainstream media now reports on the latest immunotherapy clinical trial results from pharmaceutical companies.

But what exactly is immunotherapy and what technologies are needed to realize its full potential for the treatment of cancer? Throughout this whitepaper, Definiens will answerthose questions as well as provide insight into other commonly asked questions about immunotherapy:

  • Why is it predicted that 60% of cancer treatments will be based on immunotherapy in the next 10 years?
  • What are some of the more common approaches to immunotherapy today?
  • What will be needed to accurately identify patients that will respond to immunotherapy treatment?
  • How can knowing a patient’s immune status predict long-term treatment success?
  • How is the use of Tissue Phenomics™ enabling effective clinical decision-making in oncology?

Download your copy of An Introduction To Immunotherapy And The Promise Of Tissue Phenomics™ to learn more.

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Topics:  drug development, Immunotherapy, immuno-oncology, biomarkers, cancer research, cancer immunotherapy

Cancer Immunotherapy: Featured Videos of the Month (May, 2014)

May 27, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Dr. Rosenberg Discusses the Curative Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy

In this video, Dr. Steven A Rosenberg will introduce you to NCIs recently published developments describing how they used exomic sequencing to discover and isolate the immunogenic mutations to use in cancer immunotherapy.

Will Cancer Immunotherapy Open a New Era in the Treatment of Cancer?

You will learn in this video how Dr. George Coukos assesses the present and future of immuno-oncology highlighting the value and utilization of checkpoint inhibitors and cell-based therapeutics.

ITOC 2014: Toll Like Receptor 7 Agonists for Cancer Immunotherapy

Watch Dr. Stefan Enders describe two approaches that redirect the body’s own immune system to attack cancer. The first involves utilizing TLR7 receptors to activate NK cells to kill cancerous tumors. The second approach involves activating the immune system while down-regulating production of proteins that tumor cells need to survive.

Dr. Balar on Immunotherapy Treatment in Bladder Cancer

Immunotherapy has been used in treating bladder cancer for a while now. Learn from Dr. Arjun Balar as he discusses how the checkpoint inhibitors CTLA-4 and PD-1 are changing the landscape of immunotherapy for treatment of invasive bladder cancer.

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Topics:  drug development, Immunotherapy, immuno-oncology, biomarkers, cancer research, cancer immunotherapy

Immunotherapy Online: Featured News Articles of the Month (May, 2014)

May 21, 2014 11:14:00 AM

Cancer Immunotherapy: Hot With Promise, Potential Breakthroughs
If there’s a science equivalent to the Oscars, or People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, this might be it: last year Cancer Immunotherapy – a technique that harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer — was named Science magazine’s “breakthrough of the year.”

NIH study demonstrates that a new cancer immunotherapy method could be effective against a wide range of cancers
A new method for using immunotherapy to specifically attack tumor cells that have mutations unique to a patient’s cancer has been developed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers demonstrated that the human immune system can mount a response against mutant proteins expressed by cancers that arise in epithelial cells which can line the internal and external surfaces (such as the skin) of the body. These cells give rise to many types of common cancers, such as those that develop in the digestive tract, lung, pancreas, bladder and other areas of the body.

New Cancer Immunotherapy Aims Powerful T Cells Against Tumors
Deadly skin cancers in mice shrank in response to a new treatment that may complement other “immunotherapies” developed recently to boost the body’s own defenses against disease threats, according to a new study published by UC San Francisco researchers in the May 2014 edition of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Advances in Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Despite recent developments in targeted therapies, the overall survival for metastatic NSCLC remains poor. The need for novel therapeutic options has led to the development of various new immunotherapeutic agents including anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies, which appear to have a promising role in the treatment of the disease. Additionally, other immunotherapy options including CTLA-4 inhibitors and various vaccines are also currently being investigated as potential treatment options.

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Topics:  image analysis, Immunotherapy, cancer research, digital pathology

Featured Articles Of The Month (March, 2014): How Image Analysis Supports Immunotherapy

Apr 1, 2014 10:39:00 AM

Mlecnik, B. et al. Functional Network Pipeline Reveals Genetic Determinants Associated with in Situ Lymphocyte Proliferation and Survival of Cancer Patients. Science Translational Medicine 6, Nr. 228 (19. März 2014): 228ra37. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3007240.

The tumor microenvironment is host to a complex network of cytokines that contribute to shaping the intratumoral immune reaction. Chromosomal gains and losses, coupled with expression analysis, of 59 cytokines and receptors and their functional networks were investigated in colorectal cancers. Changes in local expression for 13 cytokines were shown. Metastatic patients exhibited an increased frequency of deletions of cytokines from chromosome 4. Interleukin 15 (IL15) deletion corresponded with decreased IL15 expression, a higher risk of tumor recurrence, and reduced patient survival. Decreased IL15 expression affected the local proliferation of B and T lymphocytes. Patients with proliferating B and T cells at the invasive margin and within the tumor center had significantly prolonged disease-free survival. These results delineate chromosomal instability as a mechanism of modulating local cytokine expression in human tumors and underline the major role of IL15. Our data provide further mechanisms resulting in changes of specific immune cell densities within the tumor, and the importance of local active lymphocyte proliferation for patient survival. Read more


Paolino, M. et al. The E3 Ligase Cbl-B and TAM Receptors Regulate Cancer Metastasis via Natural Killer Cells“. Nature, 19. Februar 2014. doi:10.1038/nature12998.

Tumour metastasis is the primary cause of mortality in cancer patients and remains the key challenge for cancer therapy1. New therapeutic approaches to block inhibitory pathways of the immune system have renewed hopes for the utility of such therapies2. Here we show that genetic deletion of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b (casitas B-lineage lymphoma-b) or targeted inactivation of its E3 ligase activity licenses natural killer (NK) cells to spontaneously reject metastatic tumours. The TAM tyrosine kinase receptors Tyro3, Axl and Mer (also known as Mertk) were identified as ubiquitylation substrates for Cbl-b. Treatment of wild-type NK cells with a newly developed small molecule TAM kinase inhibitor conferred therapeutic potential, efficiently enhancing anti-metastatic NK cell activity in vivo. Oral or intraperitoneal administration using this TAM inhibitor markedly reduced murine mammary cancer and melanoma metastases dependent on NK cells. We further report that the anticoagulant warfarin exerts anti-metastatic activity in mice via Cbl-b/TAM receptors in NK cells, providing a molecular explanation for a 50-year-old puzzle in cancer biology3. This novel TAM/Cbl-b inhibitory pathway shows that it might be possible to develop a ‘pill’ that awakens the innate immune system to kill cancer metastases. Read more

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