Combination Immunotherapy track banner


Combination Immunotherapy track banner


The future of immuno-oncology drug development is positioned in combination therapies, where immunotherapy modalities are tested in rational combinations with other immunotherapies or targeted therapies for synergistic effects. Combination immunotherapy promises to deliver long-term survival benefits that may be unavailable with current approaches. The Inaugural Combination Immunotherapy meeting, part of the Second Annual Immuno-Oncology Summit Europe, will explore the most effective combinations of immunotherapy with chemotherapy, other immunotherapy or targeted therapy. Coverage will include understanding the mechanism of action, managing toxicity, strategies to design synergistic combinations, biomarker development and case studies of ongoing combination immunotherapy studies from the leading researchers in industry and academia.

Final Agenda

Thursday, 23 March

07:45 Registration and Morning Coffee


09:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Tom Lillie, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Head, European Clinical Development, Merck Sharp & Dohme

09:05 Re-Exploring the Framework of Combination Therapies in Oncology

Tom_LillieTom Lillie, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Head, European Clinical Development, Merck Sharp & Dohme

An enduring dream in oncology has been to utilize the innate value of the immune system to battle cancer. In recent years, there have been numerous advances in this arena and one such extraordinary development has been the rise of checkpoint inhibitors. Among the immunotherapies, pembrolizumab (anti-PD-1) has shown promise with ‘rational’ combinations (e.g. immune/targeted agents) and ‘less rational’ combinations (e.g. chemo/radiotherapies) in multiple oncology indications, including non-small cell lung cancer, advanced melanoma and certain types of head and neck cancer.

09:35 Opportunities and Challenges in the Combination Immunotherapy of Cancer

Jon_WiggintonJon Wigginton, M.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Development & CMO, MacroGenics

There has been tremendous progress in the field of cancer immunotherapy as it has moved recently into the mainstream for the treatment of many cancers. A broad range of non-clinical studies, and more recently, powerful new clinical data from studies combining anti-PD-1 (nivolumab) and anti-CTLA-4 (ipilimumab) for the treatment of patients with melanoma, have focused considerable attention on the potential promise of combination cancer immunotherapy. This presentation will provide an overview of current progress, lessons learned, and future prospects for the combination immunotherapy of cancer.

 10:05 Using Genomics to Predict Effective Combination Immunotherapy

Christian_OttensmeierChristian Ottensmeier, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Experimental Cancer Medicine, University of Southampton

Cancer immunotherapy is the key major advance in oncology and has taken its place in routine management of solid cancers. Still, only a minority of patients benefit. With the explosion of treatment options, it is becoming critically important to make rational choices about treatment combinations. In this presentation, we will explore how molecular analytics might be used to inform treatment choices to achieve this aim. 

10:35 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



11:15 PD-1 Antibody, a Broad Spectrum Antineoplastic Therapy, Has the Potential to Be Foundational as a Monotherapy and in Combination Therapy for the Cancer Patient

Roy_BaynesRoy D. Baynes, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head, Global Clinical Development, CMO, Merck Sharp & Dohme

PD-1 antibody has, as monotherapy, shown broad spectrum activity across a large number of cancer types and has already been demonstrated to improve survival in malignant melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer, across lines of treatment, compared with standard of care. A number of combinations with PD-1 antibody are now showing major promise. Precision medicine optimizes treatment decisions in certain tumor types. Recent clinical data will be presented.

11:45 Combined Ipilimumab and Anti-PD-1 Antibody Therapy – Questions on Sequencing and Dosing

Lucie_HeinzerlingLucie Heinzerling, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, Head of Dermatooncology, University Hospital of Erlangen

While full-dose ipilimumab in combination with the anti-PD-1 antibody nivolumab was clearly efficacious in metastatic melanoma and led to approval of the treatment scheme, toxicity was considerable with 56% grade 3/4 side effects. Thus, low-dose ipilimumab combined with anti-PD-1 is investigated as well as sequential single-agent checkpoint treatment followed by the combination. While comparative studies are missing, available data on dosing and sequencing is analyzed to facilitate clinical decision making.

12:15 Synergy of Immune Modulators in Cancer Management

Angus_DalgeishAngus Dalgleish, M.D., Professor, Oncology, St. George’s University of London

This presentation will cover: 1) the resurrection of thalidomide and the development of analogues, notably Revlimid (lenalidomide) and pomalidomide in the treatment of myeloma and lymphomas and their potential role for solid tumours, 2) a review of the reason why so many cancer vaccine trials have failed and the reason that positive results are beginning to be seen with this strategy when added to other modalities, 3) the role of many other drugs which favourably modulate the immune system when used in low doses. These include: gemcitabine, cyclophosphamide, paclitaxel, naltrexone, artusenate and the cannabinoids.

 Mitra Biotech 12:45 Luncheon Presentation: A Novel Phenotypic Platform for Predicting Tumor Immune Response

Mark_ParisMark Paris, Ph.D., Technical Liaison, Mitra Biotech

13:45 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


14:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Lindy Durrant, Ph.D., Professor, Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Nottingham; Joint CEO & CSO, Scancell

14:20 Combinations of Novel Vaccines with Checkpoint Inhibitors

Lindy_DurrantLindy Durrant, Ph.D., Professor, Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Nottingham; Joint CEO & CSO, Scancell

We have two cancer immunotherapy platforms. ImmunoBody utilises both cross- and direct-presentation to increase T-cell avidity by 100 fold. In Phase I trials, it induced T-cell responses, tumour regression and long term survival. In combination with checkpoint inhibitors, it induced 100% tumour regression in established models. Phase II trials in combination with checkpoint inhibitors are planned. Moditope stimulates powerful anti-tumour T-cell responses against neo-epitopes produced by enzymes induced by cellular stress.

14:50 Immunomodulating Antibodies Synergize with Cancer Vaccine Approaches

Andrea_van_ElsasAndrea van Elsas, Ph.D., CSO, Aduro Biotech Europe

This talk will address the synergistic potential of cancer vaccines and immune checkpoint inhibitors as well as other immunomodulators for the treatment of cancer. 

15:20 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

16:00 Intravenous Delivery of Oncolytic Virus to Tumours in Patients Immunologically Primes Tumours for Sequential Checkpoint Blockade

Alan_MelcherAlan Melcher, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Translational Immunotherapy, The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Oncolytic viruses (OV) act significantly by stimulating anti-tumour immunity. We have focused on systemic delivery of OV and shown in patients that intravenous reovirus accesses tumours in both the liver and brain in patients. Moreover, infection upregulates interferon-regulated gene expression within patient-treated tumours, immunologically ‘priming’ tumours for sequential immune checkpoint blockade, such that addition of anti-PD-1 blockade to intravenous reovirus enhances systemic therapy in preclinical models.

16:30 Combination of Local Tumor Treatment with Ipilimumab in Patients with Malignant Melanoma

Sebastian Theurich, M.D., Lecturer, Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Cologne, Germany

The therapeutic strategy of immune checkpoint inhibition has revolutionized cancer immunotherapy and significantly improved outcomes of patients with advanced melanoma and other cancers. A fraction of patients achieves long-term remissions suggesting profound immune control. Current research focuses on strategies to improve such enduring remissions and, among others, local radiotherapy is a promising option via the induction of immunogenic cell death and other mechanisms, which in the sum enhance systemic tumor-specific immune responses.

17:00 End of Day

Friday, 24 March

08:00 Morning Coffee


08:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

David Feltquate, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Oncology Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb


08:35 Challenges in IO-IO Combination Dose Finding: A Case Study of Ipilimumab/Nivolumab in NSCLC

David_FeltquateDavid Feltquate, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Oncology Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Development of IO-IO combinations will be important to further enhance the magnitude and scope of clinical activity of IO therapies. In this talk, I will review the development of an ipilimumab/nivolumab combination therapy and discuss the challenges with particular emphasis on NSCLC as a case study.

09:05 Challenges in Developing Immunotherapy Combinations

Maria_KarasaridesMaria Karasarides, Ph.D., Senior Director, Immuno-Oncology, Global Medicines Development, AstraZeneca

This presentation will cover the pros and cons of choosing a specific trial design, caveats in selecting a combination dose, what is a positive efficacy signal, and difficulties in prioritizing combinations during development.

09:35 Combinations of Novel Agents with PD-1/PD-L1 Checkpoint Inhibition in Early Phase Trials

Stefan_SymeonidesStefan Symeonides, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Experimental Cancer Medicine, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, University of Edinburgh

The recent wealth of exciting data for cancer immunotherapies, and especially combinations, creates a fortunate but complicated situation: how to now explore all these rapidly growing options in the clinic. Efficient trial designs and early exploration of clinical and biological activity are essential, as are prioritising translational analyses to help us refine, optimise and compare treatments. Illustrations will be provided from our current early phase trials, focusing on combinations of novel agents with PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibition. 

10:05 Networking Coffee Break


10:35 T Cell Function in Cancer, Promoted by Single Agents and Combination Therapies

Daniel_SpeiserDaniel E. Speiser, M.D., Professor, Clinical Tumor Biology & Immunotherapy, Department of Oncology, University of Lausanne

The recent remarkable progress of immunotherapy in patients with solid cancers is based on anti-cancer T cells and their potential to destroy tumors. Physiologically, these T cells are under tight control of several cellular and molecular regulatory circuits, consisting of activatory and inhibitory cells and signal cascades. Intense research allows increased understanding of T cell regulation in cancer patients, guiding the design of innovative clinical trials and further therapy improvements.

11:05 Towards the Rational Design of Combinatorial Immunotherapy – The Need for Tissue-Based Biomarkers

Ioannis Karydis, D.Phil., MRCP, Associate Professor, Oncology, Cancer Sciences Unit, University of Southampton

Choosing the correct treatment regimen becomes more complicated with every new cancer immunotherapy agent. Clinical trial costs and a limited pool of patients prevent us from testing every combination across a range of indications. By employing a rational clinical trial design approach utilising tissue-based predictive biomarkers and a better understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms, we can optimise resource use and determine the target populations most likely to benefit.

11:35 Combinatorial Immunotherapy Approaches in Ovarian Cancer

Lana_KandalaftLana Kandalaft, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Director, Center for Experimental Therapeutics, Department of Oncology, University of Lausanne; Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Ludwig Cancer Research Lausanne Branch

The presence of T cells in the ovarian cancer tumor microenvironment is correlated with improved progression-free and overall survival, while the presence of regulatory T cells and expression of T cell inhibitory molecules is correlated with a poor prognosis. This finding indicates that immunotherapy could hold promise in improving the treatment of ovarian cancer, but it also classifies ovarian cancer patients into two subtypes: the immunogenic and the non-immunogenic. In this talk, combinatorial approaches of immunotherapy will be described for each subtype highlighting current results with personalised cancer vaccines and immunomodulatory agents and summarising the immune effects of selected chemotherapeutic and radiotherapeutic agents when used in combination.

12:05 End of Conference

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