Summit4CI Speaker Series

Summit4CI Speaker Series

Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy: Speaker Series
Hosted by BioCanRx, Canada's Immunotherapy Network

The Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy is happening this October 1-4, 2023. But, in the meantime, BioCanRx is pleased to offer a series of interesting and interactive virtual talks featuring current and past Network Investigators from across the country. Each speaker session will include a plain language overview, a talk by a patient partner and lots of opportunity for questions and discussion. Best of all, it's FREE to attend.

View Previous Sessions

Garbage to Gold: Bringing a New Cell Therapy to Clinical Testing
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:30pm ET Register now!

This session explores the use of thymus-derived regulatory T cells (Tregs) for patients who have undergone hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) for blood cancers. HCT (sometimes called blood or bone marrow transplant) is an early form of immune therapy which harnesses the ability of donor immune cells to kill cancer cells (graft vs. leukemia or GVL effect). Although often curative, HCT can cause severe side effects which include the rejection of healthy recipient tissue (graft vs. host disease or GVHD). We propose to use Tregs to prevent or reduce the severity of GVHD in HCT recipients. As Tregs are natural immune suppressants which are also able to promote tissue healing, they are being tested in a number of clinical trials around the world for treatment of immune-mediated diseases and early results are promising. However, the fact that most Treg therapies to date use fresh patient- or donor-specific immune cells means this treatment is very expensive and logistically complex. In order to enable wider application and refinement of this approach an ‘off-the-shelf’ source of Tregs is needed. Our group uses thymus tissue (routinely discarded during infant heart surgery) as a novel source of off-the-shelf (allogeneic) Tregs and is planning a clinical trial for the prevention of GVHD as an inaugural test of these cells in humans. In this session, our patient partner Lindsay Thompson will talk about her cancer diagnosis, her stem cell transplant and her long-term battle with the side effects of GVHD and immune suppression. Dr. Megan Levings will then follow by describing the work in her lab over the past several years to understand and harness Tregs for cellular therapies as well as the plan for using Tregs in a phase I clinical trial. Finally, Dr. Sabine Ivison will talk about some of the challenges encountered in moving from the research lab to the clinic.


Megan Levings
Lindsay Thompson

Lindsay Thompson

Sabine Ivison

Sabine Ivison PhD

Who should attend?

Scientific and health care community including researchers, clinicians and HQP along with patients and caregivers. Note: There will be a plain language overview before the session begins and an opportunity to ask questions after the discussion.

Register now!

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Questions? Contact [email protected]