The Cancer-Immunity Cycle: Methods, Challenges, and Opportunities

Recent advances in cancer immunotherapy research have paved the way for the development of new clinical treatment options. Understanding the cancer immunity cycle as a whole can facilitate the identification of new putative immunotherapeutic targets, mechanisms, and strategies towards a more durable response. To be effective, treatments must retain activity despite negative feedback mechanisms, necessitating in the consideration of each step in the cycle. Fortunately, a number of innovative, advanced, and efficient techniques are now available to enable preclinical screening of new treatment approaches.

In this series, experts will review how cancer immunotherapy is studied along each step of the cancer immunity cycle, including an overview of technologies, techniques, challenges, and emerging research questions to be addressed. A number of innovative and advanced techniques to enable preclinical screening of new treatment approaches will be discussed as well as how to select appropriate in vitro methods for immunotherapeutic evaluation within the framework of the cancer immunity cycle.

Stay tuned for expert interviews that accompany the first three events!

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Cancer immunotherapy has undoubtedly expanded the cancer treatment landscape, improved patient outlook, and is now a pillar of cancer care. In this blog, we provide an overview of the cancer-immunity cycle and highlight some preclinical models that can facilitate cancer immunotherapy research.

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Advanced In Vitro Technologies to Investigate Therapeutic Impact on the Cancer Immunity Cycle

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Immuno-oncology is a fast-growing branch of science, with an unprecedented number of immunotherapeutics being developed in recent years. It’s not without its challenges though, and researchers must often balance scalability with physiological relevance.

In this webinar, Dr. Rajendra Kumari and Dr. Gera Goverse will discuss the basics of immuno-oncology and how cancer immunotherapies are studied along each step of the cancer immunity cycle. They will provide an overview of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro assays available, including both traditional as well as novel assays. They will also describe the importance and applications of several technology platforms including flow cytometry, histology, single cell analysis, cytokine profiling, T cell cytotoxicity, and high content imaging, and highlight relevant examples from the literature that used them.

Key learning objectives:

  • What is the cancer immunity cycle? How are the steps of the cycle regulated, and which steps are potential targets for immunotherapeutics?
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of 2D, 3D, in vivo, and ex vivo models
  • Applications of high-content imaging and why HCI analysis is so valuable for preclinical immuno-oncology research

Targeting T Cells Within the Cancer Immunity Cycle

THU, DEC 1 AT 11:00 am EST / 5:00 pm CET – SIGN UP NOW

The cancer immunity cycle involves several sequential steps leading to an effective T cell-mediated tumor eradication. However, many steps in the cycle can be disrupted, resulting in a tumor evading the host’s immune surveillance and response. The success of immune checkpoint inhibitors like anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 in activating cancer-killing T cells that were suppressed by cancer has paved the way for novel targets and therapeutics in immuno-oncology.

In the second webinar in this series, Dr. Marrit Putker, Dr. Pirouz Daftarian and Dr. Saskia De Man focus on the impact of T cell-directed immunotherapy on the cancer-immunity cycle. Mechanisms and targets capable of modulating and enhancing T cell activity will be presented, including the application of relevant methods such as organoid models and co-cultures, and the integration of High Content Imaging (HCI).

Key learning objectives:

  • Identify the right assays targeting T cell biology with immunotherapeutics at the different steps of the cancer immunity cycle such as T cell activation, migration, infiltration, and tumor killing
  • Application of a unique 3D organoid platform with immune cell co-culture for immunotherapy studies and the advantages of autologous systems
  • Integration of high content imaging-based screening to evaluate drug responses in 3D assays
  • Modeling T cell exhaustion in a more physiologically relevant in vitro human system for the function-based screening of successful immunotherapeutics that delay or reverse this roadblock in antigen-specific T cell activity/proliferation

Analyzing the Suppressive TME in in Vitro Based Assays

THU, JAN 26 AT 11:00 am EST / 5:00 pm CET- SIGN UP NOW

In the third webinar in this series, the presenters will describe suppressive tumor immune microenvironment (TME) compartments, as well as ex vivo patient-derived tissue technologies capable of recapitulating the TME for clinically-relevant studies of treatment efficacy. Engineered humanized in vitro models and the use of human stromal and immune cells will be discussed, together with the advantages of HCI to quantify intact tumor biology.

What’s Next in Preclinical Cancer Immunotherapy Research?

THU, MAR 2 AT 11:00 am EST / 5:00 pm CET – SIGN UP NOW

The final webinar in this series will include a panel discussion of key topics in the field of cancer immunotherapy, including new and emerging methods, recent publications, and future directions. The links between preclinical research, in vivo studies, and biomarkers will be explored, as well as the unique advantages of Crown Bioscience and their service offerings.

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