Session Details

Plenary Session 3 - Redirecting Immune Cells - T and NK cells aside from canonical CARs
Saturday, September 14, 2019 08:45 AM - 10:15 AM
Plenary Hall

Sarah Nikiforow, MD, PhD Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, USA


Denis-Claude, MD, FRCPC, Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Canada

Off-the-shelf Natural Killer cell-based therapies for malignancies
Sumithira Vasu, MBBS, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, USA
Natural Killer (NK) cells are a key component of anti-tumor immunity which, unlike T cells, recognize cancer in a manner that ignores self, is not antigen-specific nor major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted, and induces a pro-inflammatory environment that primes adaptive immunity. NK cell numbers and function are low in a wide variety of malignancies, traffic poorly to tumor sites or across the blood-brain barrier, and are further depleted by chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical anesthesia. This provides a strong rationale for restoring NK cell function through adoptive transfer, which overcomes the problems of low numbers by generating large number of highly active NK cells from donor or patient peripheral blood, using feeder cells expressing IL-21. Over 200 infusions of expanded NK cells have been administered to over 80 subjects (including pediatric patients with leukemia, brain tumors, and neuroblastoma) in ongoing trials, demonstrating safety and efficacy. However, broad application of NK cell adoptive transfer has been hindered by the high cost and delay involved in manufacturing individualized cell therapeutic products. To address this, we have developed an off-the shelf, third-party approach that establishes a process and infrastructure to identify donors to generate pre-made banks of ready-to-infuse NK cells.

Genetic Engineering Cells for Solid Tumors
Lisa Butterfiled, PhD Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy; UCSF, USA
The solid tumor microenvironment is a hostile environment for effector cells. Analysis of NK cells and T cells infiltrating tumors has identified several areas for intervention to improve trafficking, infiltration and activity of effectors in patients. Clinical trial data of antigen-specific T cell activity, NK activation and new strategies for altering effectors will be presented.