The seventh Edition of “Innovative Therapy, Monoclonal Antibodies and Beyond” Meeting took place in Milan, Italy, on January 27, 2017. The two sessions of the meeting were focused on: 1) Preclinical assays and novel biotargets; and 2) monoclonal antibodies, cell therapies and targeted molecules. Between these two sessions, a lecture entitled “HLA-antigens modulation and response to immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy” was also presented. Despite the impressive successes in cancer immunotherapy in recent years, the response to immune based interventions occurs only in a minority of patients (∼20%). Several basic and translational mechanisms of resistance to immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs) were discussed during the meeting: 1. the impact of tumor microenvironment on the activity of immune system; 2. strategies to inhibit the cross-talk between extracellular matrix and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in the preclinical setting; 3. microRNA expression as a biomarker and as a target of therapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); 4. the significance of complement activation pathways in response to immune checkpoint inhibitors; 5. the immunosuppressive activity of the microbiota by inducing IL-17 producing cells; and 6. modulation of HLA antigens as possible markers of response to ICB therapy. In order to overcome the deficiency in active anti-tumor T cells, several clinically applicable combination strategies were also discussed: 1. strategies to enhance the anticancer effects of immunogenic cell death inducing-chemotherapy; 2. the use of CAR T-cells in solid tumors; 3. the use of combination strategies involving oncolytic viruses and ICBs; 4. combinations of new ICBs with anti-PD-1/CTLA-4 therapy; and 4. combinations of targeted therapies and ICBs in melanoma. Overall, this conference emphasized the many novel strategies that are being investigated to improve the overall patient response to cancer immunotherapy. Optimization of biomarkers to accurately select patients who will respond to immunotherapy, coupled with combination strategies to improve long term patient survival remain critical challenges in the immuno-oncology field.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Immunology and Allergy
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)