Sponsored Symposia

Add Sponsored Symposia to your schedule and connect with industry supporters to learn about developments and technologies in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Sponsored Symposia content and views expressed therein are those of the sponsoring organization and not of SITC.

Akoya Biosciences

Monday, Nov. 9, 2020
5:30–6 p.m. EST

T.I.M.E and Space to Predict Response in Immuno-Oncology
In this talk, Alexander “Sandy” Borowsky, MD, will share preliminary results of an ongoing biomarker discovery study on breast cancer cohorts, including those participating in the I-SPY 2 trial, and how the in situ analysis of the tumor microenvironment is critical to understanding immunotherapy response. The I-SPY 2 trial: Neoadjuvant and Personalized Adaptive Novel Agents to Treat Breast Cancer was launched by UCSF in collaboration with a private-public partnership to improve efficiency of breast cancer clinical trials and streamline the development of new drugs.

Breast cancers, overall, infrequently respond to immunotherapy. And immunotherapies, which harness the immune system to fight cancer, are being used in the early high-risk treatment setting. However, individual tumors show dramatic variation in patterns of the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) with both immune “cold” and inflamed phenotypes. We hypothesized that the TIME pattern might predict responses to immunotherapy and/or prognosis/outcomes. We examined the TIME of high-risk invasive breast cancer and high-risk non-invasive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), hypothesizing that immune evasion might be one of the critical steps in progression of DCIS to invasive carcinoma.

Leveraging current clinical trials, we have performed gene expression analyses (bulk) and multiplexed-immunohistochemistry (mIHC). We have optimized two 7-color assay panels using the Opal detection and artificial intelligence-assisted image analysis to provide specific cell segmented assignment of location and applied proximity analyses for cell-cell interaction assessment. These data show distinct differences in the TIME and reveal predictions of early response.

Speaker name:
Alexander “Sandy” Borowsky, MD – UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020
7:30–8:30 a.m. EST

A Deep Dive into Immunotherapy in Advanced Endometrial Cancer
This conference will feature two expert faculty who discuss the role of immunotherapy in the management of advanced cases of endometrial cancer. The conference will begin with a brief overview of the current treatment landscape for advanced endometrial cancer. Also included will be a description of the latest evidence for the genomic classification of endometrial cancer, and the implications these classifications have on incorporating immunotherapy in patient management. The faculty will summarize the latest key clinical trial data evaluating immunotherapy in endometrial cancer. The faculty will then discuss the latest evidence-based best practices for incorporating immunotherapy into the management of advanced endometrial cancer, with a focus on identifying those patients who will benefit most from this treatment approach. Finally, the symposium will conclude with a discussion focused on the management of treatment-related adverse events that may occur in patients treated with immunotherapy.

Speaker names and affiliations:
Ana Oaknin, MD, PhD – Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology
Linda R. Duska, MD – University of Virginia School of Medicine

NanoString Technologies

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020
7:30–8:30 a.m. EST

New Approaches for CAR-T Cell Therapies: Technology Symposium featuring GeoMx spatial profiling and nCounter CAR-T Characterization
As the momentum with cellular therapies continues to grow and the field advances, the need for new and innovative tools becomes crucial. Several areas the field is tackling today include the development of therapies for solid tumors and ways to further characterize cellular therapies throughout the workflow to identify ways to further optimize or improve their performance and efficacy. NanoString has developed a program to support innovations in cellular therapies with our GeoMx and nCounter platforms and products. Please join us for this technology symposium with presentations from collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania. They will share new ways of spatially profiling CAR-T in solid tumor and proof of principle data utilizing the CAR-T Characterization panel and customized transgene Panel Plus for molecular profiling of apheresis, final CAR-T product and transgene inserts.

Speaker names and affiliations:
Marco Ruella, MD – University of Pennsylvania
Ryan J. Golden, MD, PhD – University of Pennsylvania


Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020
8–8:30 a.m. EST

Clinical Applications of ctDNA Testing for Immunotherapy Response Monitoring
Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is an emerging early biomarker for early determination of treatment response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Signatera is a personalized ctDNA test for molecular residual disease (MRD) detection and recurrence monitoring in patients previously diagnosed with cancer. This personalized, tumor-informed assay is optimized to detect low levels of ctDNA with high accuracy and longer lead times compared to standard radiological imaging.

Speaker name and affiliation:
Luis Raez, MD – Memorial Cancer Institute, Florida


Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020
7:30–8:30 a.m. EST

DNA Plasmid-Based IL-12 Delivered Intratumoral Electroporation: Achieving Meaningful Tumor Responses While Avoiding Systemic Toxicities
The OncoSec sponsored symposium will feature Paulo Ascierto, MD, who will present his review of the melanoma landscape as well as the KEYNOTE-695 data. It will also feature a discussion with Deborah Charych, PhD, about the role of IL-12, which is now emerging as one of the most important, if not the most important, anti-cancer cytokines. Additionally, Richard Heller, PhD, an expert in gene electrotransfer, will share his important insights into the reasons why gene electrotransfer is an effective method for delivering cancer immunotherapies. Lastly, Michael Pritchett, DO, MPH, will present his review of OncoSec’s proprietary and highly innovative visceral lesion applicator and how it can be applied to deliver this powerful cytokine to lung cancer patients.

Speaker names and affiliations:
Paolo A. Ascierto, MD – Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione
Chistopher G. Twitty, PhD – OncoSec
Deborah Charych, PhD – RayzeBio
Richard Heller, PhD – University of South Florida
Michael Pritchett, DO, MPH – Chest Center of the Carolinas; FirstHealth of the Carolinas; Pinehurst Medical Clinic


Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020
12:30–12:50 p.m. EST

Maximizing Immunotherapy Biomarker Discovery with a Multidimensional Tumor Immunogenomics Platform
A multidimensional biomarker approach to cancer immunotherapy has emerged as the search continues to accurately predict clinical response and limit adverse events to treatment. Within these efforts, insight into the complex and dynamic interactions between the tumor and immune cells of the microenvironment is essential.

Purpose built for precision oncology, the ImmunoID NeXT platform can be used to investigate key areas of tumor biology; from elucidating mechanisms of tumor escape and detecting neoantigens, to identifying novel biomarker signatures and characterizing the immune repertoire. Built upon the proprietary ACE chemistry, ImmunoID NeXT provides enhanced exome and transcriptome sequencing that has been analytically validated to enable high sensitivity and specificity for variant detection.

In this presentation, we’ll discuss the current challenges facing investigators in immuno-oncology translational research including maximizing data generation from a single sample and the analysis of complex data. A recent case study from a cohort of metastatic melanoma patients treated with immune checkpoint blockade demonstrates the analytical capabilities provided by this immunogenomic profiling solution for understanding mechanisms of tumor evasion and creating composite biomarkers. Additionally, we’ll introduce NeXT Liquid Biopsy, an exome-wide liquid biopsy approach combined with ImmunoID NeXT™, to further explore critical areas of tumor biology. Using this comprehensive approach, genomic data of the highest quality and accuracy can help drive immuno-oncology clinical and biomarker discovery programs, thus enabling the rational design and development of effective cancer immunotherapies.

Speaker name and affiliation:
Erin N. Newburn, PhD – Personalis, Inc.