Major Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy Highlighted at Key Scientific Meetings in Washington, D.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 23, 2010

(MILWAUKEE, WI) - The International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc) is pleased to host nearly 500 of the world’s top cancer researchers and doctors at its 25th Annual Scientific Meeting and Associated Programs, which begin on September 30, at the National Institutes of Health and continue October 1-4 in Washington DC. These meetings will gather investigators from ~25 countries to present cutting-edge findings and to define the state of the art in cancer immunotherapy research and clinical translation. 

For 25 years, iSBTc has been guiding cancer immunotherapy from “bench to bedside” by advancing education, research and clinical application of novel treatments that use the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer. The iSBTc Annual Meeting and Associated Programs cultivate high-level discussions that promote learning and exchange about tumor immunology, cancer immunotherapy product development, clinical trials and navigation of the regulatory process. With major developments and recent FDA approvals in the field of cancer immunotherapy, these programs promise to be exciting and well attended by the brightest minds in the field as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary. 

Programming will include the following dynamic educational events. Highlights of each program are provided below; additional details are available at http://www.isbtc.org/meetings/. 

*SYMPOSIUM ON IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY BIOMARKERS - September 30, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD

*WORKSHOP ON MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES IN CANCER - October 1; Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC 

*PRIMER ON TUMOR IMMUNOLOGY AND BIOLOGICAL THERAPY OF CANCER - October 1; Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

*25TH ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING - October 2-4; Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

25TH ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING: The iSBTc Annual Meeting is organized and attended by global leaders in cancer immunotherapy. The unique small-venue format and educational events foster strategic partnerships and intimate channels of discussion on current clinical trials, methodologies, and new initiatives in tumor immunology and biological therapy between basic and clinical researchers, regulatory agencies and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. 

In addition to the 224 peer-reviewed abstracts on the most recent findings in cancer immunotherapy, which will be presented orally or in poster format, the meeting will include a keynote address by James P. Allison, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Allison, a pioneer of cancer immunotherapy and long-time member of iSBTc, will discuss new research insights and opportunities with CTLA-4 blockade, a promising monoclonal antibody-based treatment for melanoma.

Kim A. Margolin, MD, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance will present results from the multi-center prospective “SELECT” trial of high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) for treatment of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Data from this study to be presented at the iSBTc Annual Meeting indicate that high-dose IL-2 treatment was associated with a 28% response rate (34/120), well above historical responses in the treatment of this disease. The study also reports a median progression-free survival of 4.2 months, with 17 responses on-going at the time of analysis (range: 6 to 41+ months).

The iSBTc Annual Meeting will also highlight the announcement of the Principal Investigator and recipient of the NIH grant that will fund the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), a major new national effort

to accelerate clinical trials of promising cancer immunotherapies. Under this co-operative initiative, up to 25 institutions will conduct the clinical trials as CITN Member Sites, with approximately $1.6 million budgeted for total costs in 2010 and $14 million total costs over a 5-year period.

On Monday, October 4, iSBTc will host a HOT TOPIC SYMPOSIUM on CTLA-4 Blockade as a Cancer Therapeutic, chaired by Dr. James Allison. Rachel W. Humphrey, MD, Bristol-Myers Squibb, will discuss application of CTLA-4 blockade in clinical oncology and directions for future research. Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD, University of Navarra, Spain, and Padmanee (Pam) Sharma, MD, PhD, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, will explore combinations with anti-CTLA-4, including the latest clinical data on combination therapies as well as up-and-coming combinations currently undergoing pre-clinical evaluation.

SYMPOSIUM ON IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY BIOMARKERS 2010 AND BEYOND: Perspectives from the iSBTc Biomarker Task Force: This Symposium includes lectures and interactive panel discussions on immunologic monitoring and standardization of immunologic biomarkers for clinical trials, correlating immunity to clinical responses and potency assays, novel and high-through-put methodologies for immune assessment, and recommendations on the incorporation of biomarkers into the clinical arena. The Symposium is organized and presented by thought leaders from academia, industry and regulatory agencies. Continued

WORKSHOP ON MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES IN CANCER: The iSBTc Workshop on Monoclonal Antibodies in Cancer educates clinicians and scientists from academic institutions, regulatory agencies and industry about monoclonal antibody-based cancer immunotherapies and the most recent information on the molecular targets, actions, design and clinical application of monoclonal antibodies in cancer treatment to improve patient outcomes.

PRIMER ON TUMOR IMMUNOLOGY AND BIOLOGICAL THERAPY OF CANCER: The iSBTc Primer on Tumor Immunology and Biological Therapy of Cancer educates clinical oncologists, fellows and students about cancer immunotherapy and key issues relevant to applying immunotherapy principles and immunotherapeutic agents in the clinical setting to provide better cancer patient outcomes.

We cordially invite you to attend any or all of these programs to learn the latest developments in cancer immunotherapy, which is promising to become a major therapeutic option in the fight against cancer. To register, please see http://www.isbtc.org/. 

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The International Society of Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization of clinicians, researchers, students, post-doctoral fellows and allied health professionals dedicated to improving cancer treatment outcomes by advancing the development and application of biological therapy/immunotherapy through interaction, innovation, translation and leadership.  For more information about the society, please visit www.isbtc.org.