CICON 2015


Midtown Manhattan skyline

The inaugural CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference took place September 16-19, 2015, in New York, New York.


Creating off-the-shelf VSTs

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 10/06/15

Helen Heslop, MD
Photo courtesy of Baylor
College of Medicine

Researchers are creating virus-specific T cells (VST) to treat and prevent viral infections in patients who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Thus far, the group has modified T cells with 5 viral vectors—Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), adenovirus (ADV), BK virus (BKV), and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6)—and are devising methods whereby these VSTs can be made readily available, off-the-shelf products.  [Read Article]

Treating EBV-associated lymphomas with VSTs

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 10/06/15

An EBV-infected cell (green/red)
among uninfected cells (blue)
Image by Benjamin

Type 2 Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) tumors, such as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, are challenging to treat with virus-specific T (VST) cells, according to researchers. These lymphomas express a more restricted array of EBV antigens that are not particularly immunogenic. Nevertheless, researchers are devising an approach using peptide mixtures to activate EBV VSTs for use in these patients. [Read Article]

New chimeric CD19 antibody may reduce MRD in ALL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 10/01/15

Ursula Seidel

Researchers have developed a pharmaceutical-grade, third-generation, CD19-specific antibody that reduced minimal residual disease (MRD) in pediatric patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). This chimerized, Fc-optimized antibody—4G7SDIE—was used on a compassionate-need basis in 14 patients with relapsed or refractory BCP-ALL. Nine of the patients had prior stem cell transplants. [Read Article]

Nonviral gene transfer of CARs tested in humans

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 09/30/15

Laurence Cooper, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of MDACC

Researchers have used a nonviral approach to create chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and tested these cells in safety trials. Patients with advanced lymphoma or leukemia were infused with the nonvirally modified CD19-directed CAR T cells after autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Eighty-six percent of autologous HSCT recipients were alive 24 months after infusion, and 53% of . . .  [Read Article]

Abs from transplanted AML patients enhance GvL effect in vitro

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 09/24/15

Mette Hazenberg, MD, PhD

Investigators have found that B cells may play a role in stimulating graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) responses in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). The team created B cell lines from these patients, isolated AML-specific antibodies, and found that these antibodies can induce the death of AML cells through oncosis. [Read Article]

Insights from the 5-year follow-up of CTL019 in CLL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 09/23/15

Carl June, MD
Photo courtesy of the
University of Pennsylvania

The 5-year follow-up of the phase 1 trial of CTL019 in relapsed or refractory chronic lymphoblastic leukemia (CLL) is allowing investigators to define more clearly who will respond to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells directed against CD19. One thing investigators have determined is that persistence of the CARs is essential for long-term responses. In the first 2 patients who achieved a complete remission (CR), CAR T cells persisted for more than 4 years. [Read Article]

CAR T-cell therapy tested in Sweden

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 09/18/15

Hannah Karlsson, PhD

For the first time, according to researchers, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has been tested in a clinical trial in Sweden. Early results have shown the treatment can produce complete responses (CRs) in leukemia and lymphoma, although most patients ultimately progressed. Hannah Karlsson, PhD, of Uppsala University in Sweden, presented these results at the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference. [Read Article]


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