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Live Coverage: MedCity Converge 2018 Philadelphia: AI in Cancer and Keynote Address

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD

8:30 AM -9:15

Practical Applications of AI in Cancer

We are far from machine learning dictating clinical decision making, but AI has important niche applications in oncology. Hear from a panel of innovative startups and established life science players about how machine learning and AI can transform different aspects in healthcare, be it in patient recruitment, data analysis, drug discovery or care delivery.

Moderator: Ayan Bhattacharya, Advanced Analytics Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Speakers:
Wout Brusselaers, CEO and Co-Founder, Deep 6 AI @woutbrusselaers ‏
Tufia Haddad, M.D., Chair of Breast Medical Oncology and Department of Oncology Chair of IT, Mayo Clinic
Carla Leibowitz, Head of Corporate Development, Arterys @carlaleibowitz
John Quackenbush, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Cancer Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Ayan: working at IBM and Thompon Rueters with structured datasets and having gone through his own cancer battle, he is now working in healthcare AI which has an unstructured dataset(s)

Carla: collecting medical images over the world, mainly tumor and calculating tumor volumetrics

Tufia: drug resistant breast cancer clinician but interested in AI and healthcareIT at Mayo

John: taking large scale datasets but a machine learning skeptic

moderator: how has imaging evolved?

Carla: ten times images but not ten times radiologists so stressed field needs help with image analysis; they have seen measuring lung tumor volumetrics as a therapeutic diagnostic has worked

moderator: how has AI affected patient recruitment?

Tufia: majority of patients are receiving great care but AI can offer profiles and determine which patients can benefit from tertiary care;

John: 1980 paper on no free lunch theorem; great enthusiasm about optimization algortihisms fell short in application; can extract great information from e.g. images

moderator: how is AI for healthcare delivery working at mayo?

Tufia: for every hour with patient two hours of data mining. for care delivery hope to use the systems to leverage the cognitive systems to do the data mining

John: problem with irreproducible research which makes a poor dataset:  also these care packages are based on population data not personalized datasets; challenges to AI is moving correlation to causation

Carla: algorithisms from on healthcare network is not good enough, Google tried and it failed

John: curation very important; good annotation is needed; needed to go in and develop, with curators, a systematic way to curate medial records; need standardization and reproducibility; applications in radiometrics can be different based on different data collection machines; developed a machine learning model site where investigators can compare models on a hub; also need to communicate with patients on healthcare information and quality information

Ayan: Australia and Canada has done the most concerning AI and lifescience, healthcare space; AI in most cases is cognitive learning: really two types of companies 1) the Microsofts, Googles, and 2) the startups that may be more pure AI

 

Final Notes: We are at a point where collecting massive amounts of healthcare related data is simple, rapid, and shareable.  However challenges exist in quality of datasets, proper curation and annotation, need for collaboration across all healthcare stakeholders including patients, and dissemination of useful and accurate information

 

9:15 AM–9:45 AM

Opening Keynote: Dr. Joshua Brody, Medical Oncologist, Mount Sinai Health System

The Promise and Hype of Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is revolutionizing oncology care across various types of cancers, but it is also necessary to sort the hype from the reality. In his keynote, Dr. Brody will delve into the history of this new therapy mode and how it has transformed the treatment of lymphoma and other diseases. He will address the hype surrounding it, why so many still don’t respond to the treatment regimen and chart the way forward—one that can lead to more elegant immunotherapy combination paths and better outcomes for patients.

Speaker:
Joshua Brody, M.D., Assistant Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine @joshuabrodyMD

Director Lymphoma therapy at Mt. Sinai

  • lymphoma a cancer with high PD-L1 expression
  • hodgkin’s lymphoma best responder to PD1 therapy (nivolumab) but hepatic adverse effects
  • CAR-T (chimeric BCR and TCR); a long process which includes apheresis, selection CD3/CD28 cells; viral transfection of the chimeric; purification
  • complete remissions of B cell lymphomas (NCI trial) and long term remissions past 18 months
  • side effects like cytokine release (has been controlled); encephalopathy (he uses a hand writing test to see progression of adverse effect)

Vaccines

  •  teaching the immune cells as PD1 inhibition exhausting T cells so a vaccine boost could be an adjuvant to PD1 or checkpoint therapy
  • using Flt3L primed in-situ vaccine (using a Toll like receptor agonist can recruit the dendritic cells to the tumor and then activation of T cell response);  therefore vaccine does not need to be produced ex vivo; months after the vaccine the tumor still in remission
  • versus rituximab, which can target many healthy B cells this in-situ vaccine strategy is very specific for the tumorigenic B cells
  • HoWEVER they did see resistant tumor cells which did not overexpress PD-L1 but they did discover a novel checkpoint (cannot be disclosed at this point)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow on Twitter using the following #hashtags and @pharma_BI

#MCConverge

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And at the following handles:

@pharma_BI

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Please see related articles on Live Coverage of Previous Meetings on this Open Access Journal

LIVE – Real Time – 16th Annual Cancer Research Symposium, Koch Institute, Friday, June 16, 9AM – 5PM, Kresge Auditorium, MIT

Real Time Coverage and eProceedings of Presentations on 11/16 – 11/17, 2016, The 12th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL, Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston

Tweets Impression Analytics, Re-Tweets, Tweets and Likes by @AVIVA1950 and @pharma_BI for 2018 BioIT, Boston, 5/15 – 5/17, 2018

BIO 2018! June 4-7, 2018 at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/press-coverage/

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Lectures by The 2017 Award Recipients of Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in Cancer Immunology, October 5, 2017, HMS, 77 Louis Paster, Boston

Top, from left: James Allison and Lieping Chen. Bottom, from left: Gordon Freeman, Tasuku Honjo (NOT ATTENDED), Arlene Sharpe.

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN was in attendance and covered this event LIVE

 

The 2017 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize has been awarded to five scientists for transformative discoveries in the field of cancer immunology.

Collectively, their work has elucidated foundational mechanisms in cancer’s ability to evade immune recognition and, in doing so, has profoundly altered the understanding of disease development and treatment. Their discoveries have led to the development of effective immune therapies for several types of cancer.

The 2017 award recipients are:

  • James Allison, professor of immunology and chair of the Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Immune checkpoint blockage in Cancer Therapystrictly Genomics based drug
  1. 2017 FDA approved a gemonics based drug
  2. and co-stimulatory signals
  3. CTLA-4 blockade, CD28, AntiCTLA-4 induceses regression of Transplantable Murine tumo
  4. enhance tumor-specific immune response
  5. Fully antibody human immune response in 10,000 patients – FDA approved 2011
  6. Metastatic melanoma – 3 years survival, programmed tumor death, PD-1, MHC-A1
  7. Ipi/Nivo vs. Ipi – combination – 60% survival vs Ipi alone
  8. Anti CTA4 va Anti-PD-1
  9. responsive T cell population – MC38 TILs
  10. MC38 Infiltrating T cell populations: Treg, CD4, Effector, CD8, NKT/gamma-delta
  11. Checkpoint blockage modulates infiltrating T cell population frequencies
  12. T reg correlated with Tumor growth
  13. Combination therapy lead to CURE survival at 80% rate vs CTAL-4 40% positive outcome

Not Attended — Tasuku Honjo, professor of immunology and genomic medicine, Kyoto University – Immune regulation of Cancer Therapy by PD-1 Blockade

 

  • Lieping Chen, United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of immunobiology, of dermatology and of medicine, Yale University – Adoptive Resistance: Molecular Pathway t Cancer Therapy – focus on solid tumors
  1. Enhancement – Enhance normal immune system – Co-stimulation/Co-inhibition Treg, and Cytokines, adoptive cell therapy, Lymphoid organs stores
  2. Normalization – to correct defective immune system – normalizing tumor immunity, diverse tumor escape mechanisms
  3. Anti-PD therapy: regression of large solid tumors: normalizing tumor immunity targeting tumor microenvironment: Heterogeneity, functional modulation, cellular and molecular components – classification by LACK of inflamation, adaptive resistance, other inhibitory pathways, intrinsic induction
  4. avoid autoimmune toxicity,
  5. Resetting immune response (melanoma)
  6. Understad Resistance: Target missing resistance or Adaptive resistance Type II= acquired immunity
  • Gordon Freeman, professor of medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School – PD-L1/PD-1 Cancer Immunotherapy
  1. B7 antibody
  2. block pathway – checkpoint blockage, Expand the T cells after recognition of the disease. T cell receptor signal, activation, co -stimulatory: B71 molecule, B72 – survival signals and cytokine production,.Increased T cell proliferation,
  3. PDL-1 is a ligand of PD 1. How T cell die? genes – PD1 Gene was highly expressed,
  4. Interferon gamma upregulate PD-L1 expression
  5. Feedback loop Tumor – stimulating immune response, interferon turn off PD1
  6. PD-L1 and PD-L2 Expression: Interferom
  7. Trancefuctor MHC, B7-2
  8. PD-L! sisgnat inhibit T-cell activation: turn off Proliferation and cytokine production — Decreasing the immune response
  9. T cell DNA Content: No S-phase devided cell
  10. PD-L1 engagement of PD-1 results in activation : Pd-1 Pathway inhibits T Cell Actiivation – lyposite motility,
  11. Pd-L2 is a second ligand for PD-1 and inhibits T cell activation
  12. PDl-1 expression: BR CA, Ovarian, Colonol-rectal, tymus, endothelial
  13. Blockage of the Pathway – Immune response enhanced
  14. Dendritic cells express PD-L1, PD-L2 and combination of Two, Combination was best of all by increase of cytokine production, increasing the immune response.
  15. PD-L1 blockade enhanced the immune response , increase killing and increased production of cytokines,
  16. anti-tumor efficacy of anti-PD-1/Pd-L1
  17. Pancreatic and colono-rector — PD-L, PDL1, PDL2 — does not owrkd.
  18. In menaloma: PD-1 works better than CYLA-4
  19. Comparison of Targeted Therapy: BRAF TKI vs Chemo high % but short term
  20. Immunotherapy – applies several mechanism: pre-existing anti-therapy
  21. Immune desert: PD=L does not work for them
  22. COMBINATION THERAPY: BLOCK TUMOR INVASION THEN STIMULATE IMMUNE RESPONSE — IT WILL WORK
  23. PD blockage + nutrients and probiotic
  24. Tumor Genome Therapy
  25. Tumore Immuno-evasion Score
  26. Antigens for immune response – choose the ones
  27. 20PD-1 or PD-L1 drugs in development
  28. WHO WILL THE DRUG WORK FOR?

 

  • Arlene Sharpe, the George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology, Harvard Medical School; senior scientist, department of pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Multi-faceted Functionsof the PD-1 Pathway
  1. function of the pathway: control T cell activation and function of maintain immune tolerance
  2. protect tissues from damage by immune response
  3. T cell dysfunction during cancer anf viral infection
  4. protection from autoimmunity, inflammation,
  5. Mechanism by which PD-1 pathway inhibits anti-tumor immunity
  6. regulation of memoryT cell responce of PD-1
  7. PD-1 signaling inhibit anti-tumor immunity
  8. Compare: Mice lacking CD8-Cre- (0/5) cleared vs PD-1-/-5/5 – PD-1 DELETION: PARTIAL AND TIMED: DELETION OF PD-1 ON HALF OG TILS STARTING AT DAY 7 POSTTUMOR IMPLANTATION OF BOTH PD-1 AND PD-1 TILS: – Tamoxifen days 7-11
  9. Transcription profile: analysis of CD8+ TILs reveal altered metabolism: Fatty Acid Metabolism vs Oxidative Phosphorylation
  10. DOes metabolic shift: WIld type mouth vs PD-1-/_ P14: analyze Tumor cell killingPD-1-/- enhanced FAO increases CD8+ T cell tocicity
  11. Summary: T cell memory development and PD-1: T effectors vs T cell memory: Primary vs Secondary infection: In the absent of PD-1, CD8+ T cels show increase expansion of T cells
  12. INFLUENZA INFECTION: PRIMARY more virus in lung in PD-1 is lacking
  13. Acute infection: PD-1 controls memory T cell differentiation vs PD-1 increase expansion during effector phase BUT impaired persistence during memory phase: impaired cytokine production post re-challenge
  14. PD-1 immunotherapy work for patients with tumor: Recall Response and Primary response
  15. TIL density Primary vs Long term survivor – 5 days post tumor implantation – rechallenged long term survival
  16. Hot tumor vs Cold tumor – Deletion of PD-1 impairs T memory cell development

 

Opening Remarks: George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, DEAN, HMS

  • Scientific collaboration check point – avoid the body attacking itself, sabotaging the immune system
  • 1987 – Vaccine for HepB
  • Eight of the awardees got the Nobel Prize

 

Moderated by Joan Brugge, PhD, HMS, Prof. of Cell Biology

  • Evolution of concepts of Immunotherapy: William Coley’s Toxin streptoccocus skin infection.
  • 20th century: Immuno-surveilence, Immune response – field was dead in 1978 replaced by Immunotherapy
  • Rosenberg at NIH, high dose of costimulatory molecule prevented tumor reappearanceantbody induce tumor immunity–>> immune theraphy by check point receptor blockade – incidence of tumor in immune compromised mice – transfer T cell
  • T cell defficient, not completely defficient, self recognition of tumor,
  • suppress immmune – immune evasion
  • Michael Atkins, MD, Detupy Director, Georgetown-Lombardi, Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical applications of Checkpoint inhibitors: Progress and Promise
  1. Overwhelm the Immune system, hide, subvert, Shield, defend-deactivating tumor trgeting T cells that ATTACK the immune system
  2. Immune system to TREAT the cancer
  3. Monotherapy – anti PD1/PD-L1: Antagonist activity
  4. Evading immune response: prostate, colcn
  5. MMR deficiency
  6. Nivolumab in relaped/Refractory HODGKIN LYMPHOMAS – over expression of PD-L1 and PDL2in Lymphomas
  7. 18 month survival better with Duv in Lung cancer stage 3 – anti PD-1- adjuvant therapy with broad effectiveness
  8. Biomarkers for pD-L1 Blockage
  9. ORR higher in PD-L1
  10. Improve Biomarkers: Clonality of T cells in Tumors
  11. T-effector Myeloid Inflammation Low – vs Hogh:
  12. Biomarker Model: Neoantigen burden vs Gene expression vs CD8+
  13. Tissue DIagnostic Labs: Tumor microenveironmenr
  14. Microbiome
  15. Combination: Nivo vs Nivo+Ipi is superior: DETERMINE WHEN TO STOP TREATMENT
  16. 15/16 stopped treatment – Treatment FREE SURVIVAL
  17. Sequencing with Standard Therapies
  18. Brain metastasis – Immune Oncology Therapy – crosses the BBB
  19. Less Toxic regimen, better toxicity management,
  20. Use Immuno therapy TFS
  21. combination – survival must be justified
  22. Goal: to make Cancer a curable disease vs cancer becoming a CHronic disease

 

Closing Remarks: George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, DEAN, HMS

 

The honorees will share a $500,000 prize and will be recognized at a day-long symposium on Oct. 5 at Harvard Medical School.

The Warren Alpert Foundation, in association with Harvard Medical School, honors trailblazing scientists whose work has led to the understanding, prevention, treatment or cure of human disease. The award recognizes seminal discoveries that hold the promise to change our understanding of disease or our ability to treat it.

“The discoveries honored by the Warren Alpert Foundation over the years are remarkable in their scope and potential,” said George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School. “The work of this year’s recipients is nothing short of breathtaking in its profound impact on medicine. These discoveries have reshaped our understanding of the body’s response to cancer and propelled our ability to treat several forms of this recalcitrant disease.”

The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize is given internationally. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $4 million to 59 scientists. Since the award’s inception, eight honorees have also received a Nobel Prize.

“We commend these five scientists. Allison, Chen, Freeman, Honjoand Sharpe are indisputable standouts in the field of cancer immunology,” said Bevin Kaplan, director of the Warren Alpert Foundation. “Collectively, they are helping to turn the tide in the global fight against cancer. We couldn’t honor more worthy recipients for the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize.”

The 2017 award: Unraveling the mysterious interplay between cancer and immunity

Understanding how tumor cells sabotage the body’s immune defenses stems from the collective work of many scientists over many years and across multiple institutions.

Each of the five honorees identified key pieces of the puzzle.

The notion that cancer and immunity are closely connected and that a person’s immune defenses can be turned against cancer is at least a century old. However, the definitive proof and demonstration of the steps in this process were outlined through findings made by the five 2017 Warren Alpert prize recipients.

Under normal conditions, so-called checkpoint inhibitor molecules rein in the immune system to ensure that it does not attack the body’s own cells, tissues and organs. Building on each other’s work, the five award recipients demonstrated how this normal self-defense mechanism can be hijacked by tumors as a way to evade immune surveillance and dodge an attack. Subverting this mechanism allows cancer cells to survive and thrive.

A foundational discovery made in the 1980s elucidated the role of a molecule on the surface of T cells, the body’s elite assassins trained to seek, spot and destroy invaders.

A protein called CTLA-4 emerged as a key regulator of T cell behavior—one that signals to T cells the need to retreat from an attack. Experiments in mice lacking CTLA-4 and use of CTLA-4 antibodies demonstrated that absence of CTLA-4 or blocking its activity could lead to T cell activation and tumor destruction.

Subsequent work identified a different protein on the surface of T cells—PD-1—as another key regulator of T cell response. Mice lacking this protein developed an autoimmune disease as a result of aberrant T cell activity and over-inflammation.

Later on, scientists identified a molecule, B7-H1, subsequently renamed PD-L1, which binds to PD-1, clicking like a key in a lock. This was followed by the discovery of a second partner for PD-1—the molecule PD-L2—which also appeared to tame T-cell activity by binding to PD-1.

The identification of these molecules led to a set of studies showing that their presence on human and mouse tumors rendered the tumors resistant to immune eradication.

A series of experiments further elucidated just how tumors exploit the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 to survive. Specifically, some tumor cells appeared to express PD-L1, essentially “wrapping” themselves in it to avoid immune recognition and destruction.

Additional work demonstrated that using antibodies to block this interaction disarmed the tumors, rendering them vulnerable to immune destruction.

Collectively, the five scientists’ findings laid the foundation for antibody-based therapies that modulate the function of these molecules as a way to unleash the immune system against cancer cells.

Antibody therapy that targets CTLA-4 is currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of melanoma. PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors have already shown efficacy in a broad range of cancers and have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of melanoma; kidney; lung; head and neck cancer; bladder cancer; some forms of colorectal cancer; Hodgkin lymphoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.

In their own words

“I am humbled to be included among the illustrious scientists who have been honored by the Warren Alpert Foundation for their contributions to the treatment and cure of human disease in its 30+ year history.  It is also recognition of the many investigators who have labored for decades to realize the promise of the immune system in treating cancer.”
        -James Allison


“The award is a great honor and a wonderful recognition of our work.”
         Lieping Chen



I am thrilled to have made a difference in the lives of cancer patients and to be recognized by fellow scientists for my part in the discovery of the PD-1/PD-L1 and PD-L2 pathway and its role in tumor immune evasion.  I am deeply honored to be a recipient of the Alpert Award and to be recognized for my part in the work that has led to effective cancer immunotherapy. The success of immunotherapy has unleashed the energies of a multitude of scientists to further advance this novel strategy.”
                                        -Gordon Freeman


I am extremely honored to receive the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize. I am very happy that our discovery of PD-1 in 1992 and subsequent 10-year basic research on PD-1 led to its clinical application as a novel cancer immunotherapy. I hope this development will encourage many scientists working in the basic biomedical field.”
-Tasuku Honjo


“I am truly honored to be a recipient of the Alpert Award. It is especially meaningful to be recognized by my colleagues for discoveries that helped define the biology of the CTLA-4 and PD-1 pathways. The clinical translation of our fundamental understanding of these pathways illustrates the value of basic science research, and I hope this inspires other scientists.”
-Arlene Sharpe

Previous winners

Last year’s award went to five scientists who were instrumental in the discovery and development of the CRISPR bacterial defense mechanism as a tool for gene editing. They were RodolpheBarrangou of North Carolina State University, Philippe Horvath of DuPont in Dangé-Saint-Romain, France, Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and Umeå University in Sweden, and Virginijus Siksnys of the Institute of Biotechnology at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

Other past recipients include:

  • Tu Youyou of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, who went on to receive the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two others, and Ruth and Victor Nussenzweig, of NYU Langone Medical Center, for their pioneering discoveries in chemistry and parasitology of malaria and the translation of their work into the development of drug therapies and an anti-malarial vaccine.
  • Oleh Hornykiewicz of the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Toronto; Roger Nicoll of the University of California, San Francisco; and Solomon Snyder of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research into neurotransmission and neurodegeneration.
  • David Botstein of Princeton University and Ronald Davis and David Hogness of Stanford University School of Medicine for contributions to the concepts and methods of creating a human genetic map.
  • Alain Carpentier of Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou in Paris and Robert Langer of MIT for innovations in bioengineering.
  • Harald zur Hausen and Lutz Gissmann of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg for work on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer of the cervix. Zur Hausenand others were honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.

The Warren Alpert Foundation

Each year the Warren Alpert Foundation receives between 30 and 50 nominations from scientific leaders worldwide. Prize recipients are selected by the foundation’s scientific advisory board, which is composed of distinguished biomedical scientists and chaired by the dean of Harvard Medical School.

Warren Alpert (1920-2007), a native of Chelsea, Mass., established the prize in 1987 after reading about the development of a vaccine for hepatitis B. Alpert decided on the spot that he would like to reward such breakthroughs, so he picked up the phone and told the vaccine’s creator, Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, that he had won a prize. Alpert then set about creating the foundation.

To award subsequent prizes, Alpert asked Daniel Tosteson (1925-2009), then dean of Harvard Medical School, to convene a panel of experts to identify scientists from around the world whose research has had a direct impact on the treatment of disease.

SOURCE

https://hms.harvard.edu/news/warren-alpert-foundation-honors-pioneers-cancer-immunology

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Meeting report: Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 4th Annual Immuno-Oncology SUMMIT: Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Stream – 2016

Reporter: David Orchard-Webb, PhD

 

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 4th Annual Immuno-Oncology SUMMIT took place August 29-September 2, 2016 at the Marriott Long Wharf Boston, MA. The following is a synthesis of the Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy stream.

 

Biomarkers

 

Biomarkers for patient selection in clinical trials is an important consideration for developing cancer therapeutics and immunotherapeutics such as oncolytic viruses in particular. Howard L. Kaufman, M.D., discussed the development of biomarkers for oncolytic virus efficaciousness and patient selection focusing on Imlygic (HSV-1). An important consideration for any viral therapy is the presence or absence of the receptors that the virus uses to gain entry to the cell. For example HSV-1 utilises Nectin and HVEM cell surface receptors and their expression levels on a patient’s tumour will influence whether Imlygic can gain entry and replicate in tumours. In addition he reported that B-RAF mutation facilitates Imlygic infection and that MEK inhibitors sensitise melanoma cell lines to Imlygic. Stephen Russell also presented data on the mathematical modelling of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) tumour spread and the development of a companion diagnostic based on gene expression profiling to predict patients whose tumours will be readily infected.

 

The immune reaction triggered by oncolytic viruses is important to monitor. Howard L. Kaufman discussed immunogenic cell death and stated that oncolytic viruses trigger immunity through the release of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). He reported that immunosuppressive Tregs, PDL1 and IDO expression were associated with anti-cancer CD8+ T cell infiltration. Imlygic also promoted the tumour infiltration of monocytes which depending on the context may either be immunosuppressive or beneficial through recruiting natural killer (NK) cells. This highlights the importance of combining Imlygic with other immune modulating therapeutics that can modulate the immunosuppressive cells and messengers that are present in the tumour environment. He discussed the finding that high mutation burden is a marker for response to immune checkpoint inhibition (such as CTLA and PD1) and suggested that due to the fact that oncolytic viruses release tumour associated antigens (TAA) during cell lysis this may also be a predictive marker for oncolytic viral therapy immune response. Supporting this notion Stephen Russell reported that a patient that underwent complete remission of multiple myeloma plasmacytomas in response to a measles virus oncotherapy had a very high mutational burden.

 

Targeting the tumour stroma with adenoviral vectors

 

VCN Biosciences SL is a privately-owned company focused in the development of new therapeutic approaches for tumors that lack effective treatment”. Manel Cascalló presented data from an ongoing phase I, multi-center, open-label dose escalation study of intravenous administration of VCN-01 oncolytic adenovirus with or without intravenous gemcitabine and Abraxane® in advanced solid tumors. Patients were selected based on low anti-Ad levels. Manel highlighted the problems of the pancreatic cancer matrix which limit intratumoral virus spread and also reduces chemotherapy uptake and tumour lymphocyte infiltration. VCN-01 expresses hyaluronidase to degrade the extracellular matrix and is administered intravenously. Liver tropism is reduced by replacement of the heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan putative-binding site KKTK of the fiber shaft with an integrin-binding motif RGDK. VCN-01 replicates only in Rb tumour suppressor pathway dysregulated cancers, achieved through genetic modification of the E1A protein. In previous mouse xenograft studies of pancreatic and melanoma tumours VCN-01 showed efficaciousness in intratumoral spread, degradation of hyaluronan, and evidence of sensitisation to chemotherapy. The mouse models suggested that strategies that further target other major components of the ECM such as collagen and stromal cells may increase VCN-01 efficaciousness further [1]. The phase I trial supported safety and demonstrated that when administered intravenously VCN-01 reached the pancreatic tumour and replicated. In combination with gemcitabine and Abraxane® neutropenia was observed earlier than with chemotherapy alone. This is suggestive of increased efficaciousness of the chemotherapeutics as would be expected if a greater effective concentration reached the tumour. Biopsies suggested that VCN-01 shifted the balance of immune cells towards CD8+ T cells and away from immunosuppressive Treg.

 

Adenovirus tumor-specific immunogene (T-SIGn) Therapy

 

PsiOxus Therapeutics Ltd develops novel therapeutics for serious diseases with a particular focus upon cancer”. Brian Champion discussed the application EnAd a chimeric Ad11p/Ad3 adenovirus which retains the Ad11 receptor usage (CD46 and DSG2). PsiOxus are developing Membrane-integrated T-cell Engagers (MiTe) proteins delivered via EnAd. These MiTe proteins are expressed at the cancer cell surface and engage with and activate T-cells. Their lead candidate NG-348 showed promising T-cell activation in vitro.

 

Vaccinia virus – overcoming the immunosuppressive cancer microenvironment

 

David Kirn provided a recent history of the oncolytic virus field and provided an overview of the validation of vaccinia virus over the period 2007-14 stating that it can produce cancer oncolysis, induce an immune response, and result in angiogenic ablation.

 

Western Oncolytics develops novel therapies for cancer”. Steve Thorne discussed strategies to mitigate the immunosupressive environment encountered by oncolytic viruses. He presented data from models of tumours resistant to vaccinia oncolytic virus that Treg, and myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) numbers were higher whereas CD8+ T-cell levels were lower than in a sensitive model. He elaborated on a strategy of targeting the PGE2 pathway in order to reduce MDSC numbers entering the tumour microenvironment. He demonstrated that vaccinia virus expressing HPGD has reduced levels of MDSC in target tumours.

 

Transgene (Euronext: TNG), part of Institut Mérieux, is a publicly traded French biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases”. Eric Quéméneur presented preclinical data on Transgene’s oncolytic vaccinia virus TG6002 which expresses a chimeric bifunctional enzyme which converts the nontoxic prodrug 5‐FC into the toxic metabolites 5‐FU and 5‐FUMP. This allows systemic delivery of the non-toxic prodrug chemotherapy with activation at tumours infected with the Vaccinia oncolytic virus. The virus plus prodrug combination was effective against all of the solid tumour cell lines tested. In addition the combination was effective against glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells. In pancreatic and colorectal cancer cell line models the vaccinia prodrug combination was synergistic or additive when combined with additional chemotherapeutics. In immunocompetent mouse models TG6002 increased the Tumour Teff/Treg ratio indicative of a shift from an immunosuppressive to an immunocompetent microenvironment. Furthermore in mouse models TG6002 induced an abscopal response.

 

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) – A single shot cure for cancer?

 

Vyriad strives to develop potent, safe and cost-effective cancer therapies in areas of unmet need”. Stephen Russell presented his position that oncolytic viruses could be a single shot cure for cancer. He emphasised the point that in oncolytic viral therapy the initial dose will be the most effective due to the relatively low levels of neutralising antibodies present and therefore defining the optimal dose is critical. The trend is for increased initial dose. Two IND’s have been accepted by the FDA, one for measles virus and the other for VSV.

 

John Bell described using VSV to deliver Artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs) to tumours. It was demonstrate that a VSV delivering ARID1A amiRNA was synthetic lethal when combined with EZH2 (methyl transferase) inhibition. He postulated that oncolytic viruses can be used to create factories of therapeutic amiRNAs transmitted throughout the tumour by exosomes.

 

HSV-1 an update on immune checkpoint combinations

 

Amgen was the first company to launch an FDA approved (October 2015) oncolytic virus, trade name Imlygic, which was developed by the UK based company Biovex. Jennifer Gansert gave a background on Imlygic and presented new data on combination with the CTLA4 inhibitor Ipilimumab. In mouse models abscopal response in contralateral tumours was 100% when a single tumour was treated with Imlygic combined with systemic delivery of anti-CTLA4. A Phase 1b clinical trial to test the combination in unresectable melanoma patients was completed and published in 2016. Fifty percent of the patients had durable response for greater than 6 months and 20% of the patients had ongoing complete response after a year of follow-up. Overall 72% of patients has controlled disease (no progression). In addition Amgen is recruiting for a phase III trial of the anti-PD1 Pembrolizumab in combination with Imlygic for unresectable stage IIIB to IVM1c melanoma.

 

Virttu is a privately held biotechnology company, which has pioneered the development of oncolytic viruses for treating cancer”. Joe Connor discussed Seprehvir an oncolyic virus based on HSV-1 like Imlygic which is in clinical trials for which 100 patients have been treated to date. The trial data indicate that Seprehvir induces CD8+ T cell infiltration and activity as well as a novel anti-tumour immune response against select antigens such as Mage A8/9. Preclinical investigations focus on combination with checkpoint inhibitor antibodies, CAR-T targeted to GD2, and synergies with targeted therapies on the mTOR/VEGFR signalling axes.

 

Reovirus – an update

 

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on the development of oncolytic viruses for use as cancer therapeutics in some of the most prevalent forms of the disease”. Brad Thompson provided an update on REOLYSIN®, Oncolytics Biotech’s proprietary T3D reovirus. Highlights included concluding the first checkpoint inhibitor and REOLYSIN® study in patients with pancreatic cancer and preparing for registration study in multiple myeloma.

 

Maraba virus – privileged antigen presentation in splenic B cell follicles

 

Turnstone Biologics is developing “a first-in-class oncolytic viral immunotherapy that combines a bioselected and engineered oncolytic virus to directly lyse tumors with a potent vaccine technology to drive tumor-antigen specific T-cell responses of unprecedented magnitude”. Caroline Breitbach described Maraba MG1 Oncolytic Virus which was isolated from Brazilian sand flies. Their lead candidate is an MG1 virus expressing the tumour antigen MAGE-A3. In mouse models a combination of adenovirus-MAGE-A3 and MG1-MAGE-A3 in a prime-boost regimen produced extremely robust CD8+ T cell responses. It is thought that a privileged antigen presentation in splenic B cell follicles maximizes the T cell responses. A phase I/II trial is enrolling patients to test the adenovirus-MAGE-A3 and MG1-MAGE-A3 prime-boost regimen in patients with MAGE‐A3 positive solid tumours for which there is no life prolonging standard therapy.

 

Oncolytic virus manufacturing

 

Anthony Davies of Dark Horse Consulting Inc. reviewed the manufacturing hurdles facing oncolytic viruses and pointed out that thus far adenovirus is the gold standard. He discussed isoelectric focusing for virus manufacturing, process flow and the procurement of key raw materials. He emphasized the importance of codifying analytical methods, and the statistical design of experiments (DOE) for optimal use of finite resources.

 

Mark Federspiel described the difficulties associated with measles virus manufacturing which include the large pleomorphic size (100-300nm) which cannot be filter sterilized efficiently due to shear stress. As a result aseptic conditions must be maintained throughout the manufacturing process. There are also issues with genomic contamination from infected cells. He described improved manufacturing bioprocesses to overcome these limitations using the HeLa S3 cell line. Using this cell line resulted in less residual genomic DNA than the standard however it was still relatively high compared to vaccine production. There is still much room for improvement.

 

REFERENCES
Rodríguez-García A, Giménez-Alejandre M, Rojas JJ, Moreno R, Bazan-Peregrino M, Cascalló M, Alemany R. Safety and efficacy of VCN-01, an oncolytic adenovirus combining fiber HSG-binding domain replacement with RGD and hyaluronidase expression. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Mar 15;21(6):1406-18. Doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-2213. Epub 2014 Nov 12. PubMed PMID: 25391696.

 

Other Related Articles Published In This Open Access Online Journal Include The Following:

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/07/15/agenda-for-oncolytic-virus-immunotherapy-unlocking-oncolytic-virotherapies-from-science-to-commercialization-chis-4th-annual-immuno-oncology-summit-august-29-30-2016-marriott-lo/

Real Time Coverage and eProceedings of Presentations on August 29 and August 30, 2016 CHI’s 4th IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY SUMMIT – Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Track

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/01/real-time-coverage-and-eproceedings-of-presentations-on-august-29-and-august-30-2016-chis-4th-immuno-oncology-summit-oncolytic-virus-immunotherapy-track/

LIVE Tweets via @pharma_BI and by @AVIVA1950 for August 29 and August 30, 2016 of CHI’s 4th IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY SUMMIT – Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Track, Marriott Long Wharf Hotel – Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/01/live-tweets-via-pharma_bi-and-by-aviva1950-for-august-29-and-august-30-2016-of-chis-4th-immuno-oncology-summit-oncolytic-virus-immunotherapy-track-marriott-long-wharf-hotel/

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Deep Learning for In-silico Drug Discovery and Drug Repurposing: Artificial Intelligence to search for molecules boosting response rates in Cancer Immunotherapy: Insilico Medicine @John Hopkins University

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Insilico Medicine –>>> transcriptome-based pathway perturbation analysis

Insilico Medicine, Inc. is a bioinformatics company located at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University Eastern campus in Baltimore with R&D resources in Belgium, Russia, and Poland hiring talent through hackathons and competitions. It utilizes advances in genomics, big data analysis and deep learning for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for aging and age-related diseases. The company pursues internal drug discovery programs in cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sarcopenia and geroprotector discovery. Through its Pharmaceutical Artificial Intelligence division the company provides advanced machine learning services to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and skin care companies.

WATCH VIDEO

Brief company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l62jlwgL3v8.

Insilico Medicine develops a new approach to concomitant cancer immunotherapy

Artificial intelligence to search for molecules boosting response rates in cancer immunotherapy

INSILICO MEDICINE, INC.

IMAGE
IMAGE: THIS IS THE INSILICO MEDICINE LOGO.view more

CREDIT: INSILICO MEDICINE

Summary:

  • Some of the most promising drugs for cancer therapy called checkpoint inhibitors often result in complete remissions, however, a majority of patients fail cancer immunotherapy with antibodies targeting immune checkpoints, such as CTLA-4 or programmed death-1 (PD-1).
  • Insilico Medicine developed a set of pathway-based signatures of response to popular checkpoint inhibitors
  • Using these markers and a deep learned drug scoring engine Insilico Medicine identified 12 leads that may help increase response to cancer immunotherapy and is seeking industry partnerships to test these leads

Thursday, July 14, 2016, Baltimore, MD — Recent advances in cancer immunotherapy demonstrated complete remission in multiple tumor types including melanoma and lung cancers. Almost every major pharmaceutical company operating in oncology space started multiple programs in immuno-oncology with thousands of clinical trials underway. Immuno-oncology is now a very broad field ranging from treatment of a patient with an engineered antibody to genome editing of patient’s immune cells. Genetic mutations accruing from the inherent genomic instability of tumor cells present neo-antigens that are recognized by the immune system. Cross-presentation of tumor antigens at the immune synapse between antigen-presenting dendritic cells and T lymphocytes can potentially activate an adaptive antitumor immune response, however, tumors continuously evolve to counteract and ultimately defeat such immune surveillance by co-opting and amplifying mechanisms of immune tolerance to evade elimination by the immune system. This prerequisite for tumor progression is enabled by the ability of cancers to produce negative regulators of immune response.

Cancer immunotherapy is currently focused on targeting immune inhibitory checkpoints that control T cell activation, such as CTLA-4 and PD-1. Monoclonal antibodies that block these immune checkpoints (commonly referred to as immune checkpoint inhibitors) can unleash antitumor immunity and produce durable clinical responses in a subset of patients with advanced cancers, such as melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancer. However, these immunotherapeutics are currently constrained by their inability to induce clinical responses in the vast majority of patients and the frequent occurrence of immune-related adverse events. A key limitation of checkpoint inhibitors is that they narrowly focus on modulating the immune synapse but do not address other key molecular determinants that may also be responsible for immune dysfunction.

Immunoresistance often ensues as a result of the concomitant activation of multiple, often overlapping signaling pathways. Therefore, inhibition of multiple, cross-talking pathways involved in survival control with combination therapy is usually more effective in decreasing the likelihood that cancer cells will develop therapeutic resistance than with single agent therapy. While research efforts are now focused on identifying new inhibitory mechanisms that could be targeted to achieve responses in patients with refractory cancers and provide durable and adaptable cancer control, there are outstanding challenges in determining what combination of immunotherapies and conventional therapies will prove beneficial against each tumor type.

“Immunotherapy is the most promising area in oncology resulting in cures, but we need to identify effective combinations of both established methods and new drugs developed specifically to boost response rates. At Insilico Medicine we developed a new method for screening, scoring and personalizing small molecules that may boost response rates to PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA4 and other checkpoint inhibitors. We can identify effective combinations of both established methods and new drugs developed specifically to boost response rates to immunotherapy”, said Artem Artemov, director of computational drug repurposing at Insilico Medicine.

Insilico Medicine, Inc. is one of the leaders in transcriptome-based pathway perturbation analysis. It is also a pioneer in applying cutting edge artificial intelligence techniques to biological and medical data analysis, particularly focused on in silico screening for new compounds against cancer and known drugs which can be repurposed against different cancers. One of the major programs currently ongoing at Insilico Medicine is evaluation of the transcriptional responses to multiple checkpoint inhibitors and analyzing the pathway-level differences in patients who respond and fail to respond to clinically approved checkpoint inhibitors. This novel computational approach is aimed at identifying new drug candidates which can be used in combination with immunotherapy to unleash durable antitumor effect against several types of cancers.

Recently, scientists at Insilico Medicine performed a large in silico screening of compounds that can be administered in combination with anti-PD1 immunotherapy to increase response rates. The researchers collected transcriptomic data from tumors of patients who either responded or failed to respond to standard immunotherapy, using both publically available and internally generated data. Next, they used differential pathway activation analysis and deep learning based approaches to identify transcriptomic signatures predicting the success of immunotherapy in a particular tumor type.

Finally, they analyzed drug-induced transcriptomic effects to screen for the drugs that can robustly drive transcriptomes of tumor cells from non-responsive state to the state responsive to immunotherapy. In other words, researchers developed approach that can predict whether drug of interest would induce a transcriptional signature that characterizes those patients that respond to cancer immunotherapy in non-respondents. This method allows personalizing these drugs to individual patients and specific checkpoint inhibitors. Among the top-scoring drugs, they found several compounds known to increase response rates in combination with cancer immunotherapy. One of the top-scoring compounds included a naturally-occurring substance marketed as a natural product.

The current list of top-scoring leads that may increase response rates to checkpoint inhibitors included 12 small molecules identified using signaling pathway perturbation analysis and annotated using a deeply learned drug scoring system. Insilico Medicine is currently open for partnerships which will allow further testing and validation of the discovered compounds ex vivo on cell cultures established from tumors which respond and failed to respond to immunotherapy, as well as in mice with patient-derived tumor xenografts. This approach may greatly reduce the costs of preclinical trials and significantly shorten the timeframe from a drug prediction to validation and marketing. The compounds, after preclinical and clinical validation, may improve cancer care and dramatically increase the lifespan of cancer patients.

A panel of leads for concomitant immunotherapy is part of a large number of leads developed using DeepPharma™, artificially-intelligent drug discovery engine, which includes a large number of molecules predicted to be effective antineoplastic agents, metabolic regulators, CVD and CNS lead, senolytics and ED drugs. Recently Insilico Medicine published several seminal papers demonstrating proof of concept of utilizing deep learning techniques to predict pharmacological properties of small molecules using transcriptional response data utilizing deep neural networks for biomarker development. “Deep Learning Applications for Predicting Pharmacological Properties of Drugs and Drug Repurposing Using Transcriptomic Data,” a paper published in Molecular Pharmaceuticals received the American Chemical Society Editors’ Choice Award. Another recent collaboration with Biotime, Inc resulted in a launch of Embryonic.AI, deep learned predictor of differentiation state of the sample.

###

 

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

SOURCE

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-07/imi-imd071416.php?utm_content=buffer36d53&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Personalized Immunotherapy: The Immuno-Oncology Summit August 30-31 2016 Boston MA

Reporter: Stephen J Williams, PhD

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business intelligence (LPBI) Group will cover in Real Time using Social Media

The CHI’S 4TH ANNUAL IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY SUMMIT – Personalized Immunotherapy

Personalized Oncology in the Genomic Era: Expanding the Druggable Space

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

will be streaming LIVE from the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel in Boston, MA

REGISTRATION

https://chidb.com/reg/imx/reg.asp

PROGRAM

http://www.immuno-oncologysummit.com/uploadedFiles/Immuno_Oncology_Summit/Agenda/16/2016-The-Immuno-Oncology-Summit-Brochure.pdf

 

 

Plenary Keynotes

TUESDAY | AUGUST 30

Matthew Goldstein

4:00 A New Era of Personalized Therapy: Using Tumor Neoantigens to Unlock the Immune System

Matthew J. Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Translational Medicine, Neon Therapeutics, Inc.

Neon Therapeutics, Inc. launched in 2015 to focus on advancing neoantigen biology to improve cancer patient care. A neoantigen-based product engine will allow Neon to develop further treatment modalities including next-generation vaccines and T cell therapies targeting both personalized as well as shared neoantigens. The company’s first trial will launch later this year investigating the combination of a personalized, vaccine with nivolumab in advanced Melanoma, NSCLC, and Bladder Cancer.

Michael Rosenzweig

4:30 Emerging Innate Immune Targets for Enhancing Adaptive Anti-Tumor Responses

Michael Rosenzweig, Ph.D., Executive Director, Biology-Discovery, IMR Early Discovery, Merck Research Laboratories

Novel cancer immunotherapies targeting T cell checkpoint proteins have emerged as powerful tools to induce profound, durable regression and remission of many types of cancer. Despite these advances, multiple studies have demonstrated that not all patients respond to these therapies, and the ability to predict which patients may respond is limited. Harnessing the innate immune system to augment the adaptive anti-tumor response represents an attractive target for therapy, which has the potential to enhance both the percentage and rate of response to checkpoint blockade.

 

Morganna Freeman

5:00 Reading Tea Leaves:
The Dilemma of Prediction and Prognosis in Immunotherapy

Morganna Freeman, D.O., Associate Director, Melanoma & Cutaneous Oncology Program, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute

With the rapid expansion of immunotherapeutics in oncology, scientifically significant advances have been made with both the depth and duration of antitumor responses. However, not all patients benefit, or quickly relapse, thus much scientific inquiry has been devoted to appropriate patient selection and how such obstacles might be overcome. While more is known about potential biomarkers, accurate prognostication persists as a knowledge gap, and efforts to bridge it will be discussed here.

Personalized Immunotherapy | The Immuno-Oncology Summit
August 30-31, 2016 | Marriott Long Wharf Hotel – Boston, MA

Personalized Immunotherapy
Personalized Oncology in the Genomic Era: Expanding the Druggable Space
August 30-31, 2016 | Learn More | Sponsorship & Exhibit Opportunities | Register by July 29 & SAVE up to $200!

Fueled with advances in genomic technologies, personalized oncology promises to innovate cancer therapy and target the previously undruggable space. Developments in immune checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and adoptive T-cell therapies, as well as biomarker-driven immuno-oncology clinical trials, are enabling the next generation of cancer therapy. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural Personalized Immunotherapy meeting brings together clinical immuno-oncologists and thought leaders from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and leading academic teams to share research and case studies in implementing patient-centric approaches to using the immune system to beat cancer.

TUMOR NEOANTIGENS FOR PERSONALIZED IMMUNOTHERAPY

Basics of Personalized Immunotherapy: What Is a Good Antigen?
Pramod K. Srivastava, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Immunology and Medicine, Director, Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Novel Antibodies against Immunogenic Neoantigens
Philip M. Arlen, M.D., President & CEO, Precision Biologics, Inc.

PD-1 Blockade in Tumors with Mismatch-Repair Deficiency
Luis Alberto Diaz, M.D., Associate Professor, Oncology, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

PERSONALIZED IMMUNOTHERAPY WITH CANCER VACCINES

Cancer Vaccines in the Era of Checkpoint Inhibitors
Keith L. Knutson, Ph.D., Professor, Immunology, Mayo Clinic

Developing Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine Strategies for Prostate Cancer
Ravi Madan, M.D., Clinical Director, Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Getting Very Personal: Fully Individualized Tumor Neoantigen-Based Vaccine Approaches to Cancer Therapy
Karin Jooss, Ph.D., CSO, Gritstone Oncology

Approaches to Assess Tumor Mutation Load for Selecting Patients for Cancer Immunotherapy
John Simmons, Ph.D., Manager, Research Services, Personal Genome Diagnostics

In situ Vaccination for Lymphoma
Joshua Brody, M.D., Director, Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Immunotherapy Using Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] Vector Vaccines in the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program
Frank R. Jones, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO, Etubics Corporation

PERSONALIZED CELL THERAPY

Integration of Natural Killer-Based Therapy into the Treatment of Lymphoma
Andrew M. Evens, D.O., Professor and Chief, Hematology/Oncology, Tufts University School of Medicine; Director, Tufts Cancer Center

Dendritic Cells: Personalized Cancer Vaccines and Inducers of Multi-Epitope-Specific T Cells for Adoptive Cell Therapy
Pawel Kalinski, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Surgery, Immunology, and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Mesothelin-Targeted CAR T-Cell Therapy for Solid Tumors
Prasad S. Adusumilli, M.D., FACS, Deputy Chief of Translational & Clinical Research, Thoracic Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Synthetic Regulation of T Cell Therapies Adds Safety and Enhanced Efficacy to Previously Unpredicted Therapies
David M. Spencer, Ph.D., CSO, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals

Long-Term Relapse-Free Survival of Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Receiving a Telomerase- Engineered Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy
Jane Lebkowski, Ph.D., President & CSO, Research and Development, Asterias Biotherapeutics

Activated and Exhausted Tumor Infiltrating B Cells in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Present Antigen and Influence the Phenotype of CD4 Tumor Infiltrating T Cells
Tullia Bruno, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Immunology, University of Pittsburgh

About the Immuno-Oncology Summit

CHI’s 4th Annual Immuno-Oncology Summit has been designed to support a coordinated effort by industry players to bring commercial immunotherapies and immunotherapy combinations through clinical development and into the market. This weeklong, nine-meeting set will include topics ranging from early discovery through clinical development as well as emerging areas such as oncolytic virotherapy. Overall, this event will provide a focused look at how researchers are applying new science and technology in the development of the next generation of effective and safe immunotherapies.

Monday, August 29 –
Tuesday, August 30
Tuesday, August 30 –
Wednesday, August 31
Thursday, September 1 –
Friday, September 2
Immunomodulatory Antibodies Combination Immunotherapy Adoptive T Cell Therapy
Oncolytic Virotherapy Personalized Immunotherapy Biomarkers for Immuno-Oncology
Training Seminar: Immunology for Drug Discovery Scientists Preclinical & Translational Immuno-Oncology Clinical Trials for Cancer Immunotherapy

For more info about sponsorship opportunities, including podium presentations and 1-2-1 meetings, please contact:

Companies A-K
Ilana Quigley
Sr Business Development Manager
781-972-5457
iquigley@healthtech.com
Companies L-Z:
Joe Vacca
Associate Director, Business Development
781-972-5431
jvacca@healthtech.com

For conference updates please visit
Immuno-OncologySummit.com/Personalized-Immunotherapy

Cambridge Healthtech Institute, 250 First Avenue, Suite 300, Needham, MA 02494 healthtech.com
Tel: 781-972-5400 | Fax: 781-972-5425

This email is being sent to sjwilliamspa@comcast.net. This email communication is for marketing purposes. If it is not of interest to you, please disregard and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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Aduro Biotech Phase II Pancreatic Cancer Trial CRS-207 plus cancer vaccine GVAX Fails

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D

From Biospace News

May 16, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

BERKELEY, Calif. – Shares of Aduro Biotech (ADRO) have fallen more than 25 percent this morning following news that the company’s Phase II trial for its combination pancreatic cancer drug, CRS-207 did not meet its primary endpoint of survivability.

Aduro said its Eclipse trial of CRS-207 failed to show an improvement in overall survival for patients with pancreatic cancer who had failed at least two prior therapies in the metastatic setting. Median overall survival was 3.8 months for patients treated with the immunotherapy regimen of CRS-207 and the cancer vaccine GVAX pancreas, 5.4 months for patients treated with CRS-207 alone and 4.6 months for patients administered chemotherapy. Aduro said there were no reported safety concerns during the trial and full study findings will be presented at a later date.

Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aduro, called the findings a disappointing and “unexpected outcome.’

“While we are well aware of the very difficult-to-treat nature of late-stage metastatic pancreatic cancer, we are surprised by the divergence of these data from the results of our Phase IIa study. At the same time, we continue to look forward to the interim results later this year from our ongoing Stellar trial, which is evaluating CRS-207 and GVAX Pancreas with and without the anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab as a second-line therapy for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer,” Isaacs said in a statement.

For full story please see http://www.biospace.com/News/aduro-biotechs-stock-craters-after-pancreatic/419628/source=TopBreaking

Also from FierceBiotech

UPDATED: Aduro combo fails in a key pancreatic cancer study

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Cyclic Dinucleotides and Histone deacetylase inhibitors

Curators: Larry H. Bernsten, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

LPBI

 

New Class of Immune System Stimulants: Cyclic Di-Nucleotides (CDN): Shrink Tumors and bolster Vaccines, re-arm the Immune System’s Natural Killer Cells, which attack Cancer Cells and Virus-infected Cells

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

The Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI), a UC Berkeley effort funded by Aduro Biotech, Inc.

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/04/24/new-class-of-immune-system-stimulants-cyclic-di-nucleotides-cdn-shrink-tumors-and-bolster-vaccines-re-arm-the-immune-systems-natural-killer-cells-which-attack-cancer-cells-and-virus-inf/

A new class of immune system stimulants called cyclic di-nucleotides have shown promise in shrinking tumors and bolstering vaccines against tuberculosis, and research that could help re-arm the immune system’s natural killer cells, which normally attack cancer cells and virus-infected cells, to better fight tumors.

Much of the excitement around combining these two areas — the immunology of cancer and the immunology of infectious disease — comes from the amazing success of immunotherapy against cancer, which started with the work of James Allison when he was a professor of immunology at UC Berkeley and director of the Cancer Research Laboratory from 1985 to 2004. Allison, now at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discovered a way to release a brake on the body’s immune response to cancer that has proved highly successful at unleashing the immune system to attack melanoma and is being tried against other types of cancer. Allison’s technique uses an antibody that blocks an immune suppressor called CTLA4, antibodies that block another immune suppressor, PD1. This has been successful in treating melanoma, renal cancer and a type of lung cancer. Both CTLA4 and PD1 antibodies are now FDA-approved as cancer therapies.

Another promising avenue involves a protein in cells that responds to foreign DNA to launch an innate immune response — the first response of the body’s immune system. The protein, dubbed STING, is triggered by small molecules called cyclic di-nucleotides (CDN), and makes immune cells release interferon and other cytokines that activate disease-fighting T cells and stimulate the production of antibodies that together kill invading pathogens and destroy cancer cells. Listeria bacteria, for example, secrete a CDN directly into infected cells that activates STING.

Russell Vance, a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and current head of the Cancer Research Laboratory, discovered several years ago that the chemical structure of these di-nucleotides is critical to their ability to work in humans. Aduro has since developed a CDN designed to work in humans and found that injecting it directly into a tumor in mice caused the tumor to shrink.

Sarah Stanley, an assistant professor of public health, has found evidence that CDNs can help improve the imperfect vaccines we have today against tuberculosis.

 

Researchers at UC Berkeley will have access to Aduro’s novel technology platforms for research use, including its STING pathway activators, proprietary monoclonal antibodies and the engineered listeria bacteria, referred to as LADD (listeria attenuated double-deleted). David Raulet, professor of molecular and cell biology and director of IVRI has contributed to making these cells a new focus of cancer research. As tumors advance, NK cells inside the tumors appear to become desensitized, he said. Recent research shows that some cytokines and other immune mediators Raulet discovered are able to “wake them up” and get them to resume their elimination of cancer cells.

 

Histone deacetylase inhibitors: molecular mechanisms of action

W S Xu1,2, R B Parmigiani1,2 and P A Marks1

Oncogene (2007) 26, 5541–5552; http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/sj.onc.1210620

This review focuses on the mechanisms of action of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDACi), a group of recently discovered ‘targeted’ anticancer agents. There are 18 HDACs, which are generally divided into four classes, based on sequence homology to yeast counterparts. Classical HDACi such as the hydroxamic acid-based vorinostat (also known as SAHA and Zolinza) inhibits classes I, II and IV, but not the NAD+-dependent class III enzymes. In clinical trials, vorinostat has activity against hematologic and solid cancers at doses well tolerated by patients. In addition to histones, HDACs have many other protein substrates involved in regulation of gene expression, cell proliferation and cell death. Inhibition of HDACs causes accumulation of acetylated forms of these proteins, altering their function. Thus, HDACs are more properly called ‘lysine deacetylases.’ HDACi induces different phenotypes in various transformed cells, including growth arrest, activation of the extrinsic and/or intrinsic apoptotic pathways, autophagic cell death, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced cell death, mitotic cell death and senescence. In comparison, normal cells are relatively more resistant to HDACi-induced cell death. The plurality of mechanisms of HDACi-induced cell death reflects both the multiple substrates of HDACs and the heterogeneous patterns of molecular alterations present in different cancer cells.

histone deacetylase, histone deacetylase inhibitor, apoptosis, mitotic cell death, senescence, angiogenesis

Acetylation and deacetylation of histones play an important role in transcription regulation of eukaryotic cells (Lehrmann et al., 2002;Mai et al., 2005). The acetylation status of histones and non-histone proteins is determined by histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone acetyl-transferases (HATs). HATs add acetyl groups to lysine residues, while HDACs remove the acetyl groups. In general, acetylation of histone promotes a more relaxed chromatin structure, allowing transcriptional activation. HDACs can act as transcription repressors, due to histone deacetylation, and consequently promote chromatin condensation. HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) selectively alter gene transcription, in part, by chromatin remodeling and by changes in the structure of proteins in transcription factor complexes (Gui et al., 2004). Further, the HDACs have many non-histone proteins substrates such as hormone receptors, chaperone proteins and cytoskeleton proteins, which regulate cell proliferation and cell death (Table 1). Thus, HDACi-induced transformed cell death involves transcription-dependent and transcription-independent mechanisms (Marks and Dokmanovic, 2005Rosato and Grant, 2005Bolden et al., 2006;Minucci and Pelicci, 2006).

Table 1 – Nonhistone protein substrates of HDACs (partial list).   Full table

http://www.nature.com/common/images/table_thumb.gif

In humans, 18 HDAC enzymes have been identified and classified, based on homology to yeast HDACs (Blander and Guarente, 2004;Bhalla, 2005Marks and Dokmanovic, 2005). Class I HDACs include HDAC1, 2, 3 and 8, which are related to yeast RPD3 deacetylase and have high homology in their catalytic sites. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that this class can be divided into classes Ia (HDAC1 and -2), Ib (HDAC3) and Ic (HDAC8) (Gregoretti et al., 2004). Class II HDACs are related to yeast Hda1 (histone deacetylase 1) and include HDAC4, -5, -6, -7, -9 and -10 (Bhalla, 2005Marks and Dokmanovic, 2005). This class is divided into class IIa, consisting of HDAC4, -5, -7 and -9, and class IIb, consisting of HDAC6 and -10, which contain two catalytic sites. All class I and II HDACs are zinc-dependent enzymes. Members of a third class, sirtuins, require NAD+ for their enzymatic activity (Blander and Guarente, 2004) (see review by E Verdin, in this issue). Among them, SIRT1 is orthologous to yeast silent information regulator 2. The enzymatic activity of class III HDACs is not inhibited by compounds such as vorinostat or trichostatin A (TSA), that inhibit class I and II HDACs. Class IV HDAC is represented by HDAC11, which, like yeast Hda 1 similar 3, has conserved residues in the catalytic core region shared by both class I and II enzymes (Gao et al., 2002).

HDACs are not redundant in function (Marks and Dokmanovic, 2005Rosato and Grant, 2005Bolden et al., 2006). Class I HDACs are primarily nuclear in localization and ubiquitously expressed, while class II HDACs can be primarily cytoplasmic and/or migrate between the cytoplasm and nucleus and are tissue-restricted in expression.

The structural details of the HDAC–HDACi interaction has been elucidated in studies of a histone deacetylase-like protein from an anerobic bacterium with TSA and vorinostat (Finnin et al., 1999). More recently, the crystal structure of HDAC8–hydroxamate interaction has been solved (Somoza et al., 2004Vannini et al., 2004). These studies provide an insight into the mechanism of deacetylation of acetylated substrates. The hydroxamic acid moiety of the inhibitor directly interacts with the zinc ion at the base of the catalytic pocket.

This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms triggered by inhibitors of zinc-dependent HDACs in tumor cells that explain in part: (I) the effects of these compounds in inducing transformed cell death and (II) the relative resistance of normal and certain cancer cells to HDACi induced cell death. HDACi, for example, the hydroxamic acid-based vorinostat (SAHA, Zolinza), are promising drugs for cancer treatment (Richon et al., 1998Marks and Breslow, 2007). Several HDACi are in phase I and II clinical trials, being tested in different tumor types, such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, cervical cancer, etc (Bug et al., 2005Chavez-Blanco et al., 2005Kelly and Marks, 2005;Duvic and Zhang, 2006) (Table 2). Although considerable progress has been made in elucidating the role of HDACs and the effects of HDACi, these areas are still in early stages of discovery.

Table 2 – HDACi in clinical trials.  Full table

http://www.nature.com/common/images/table_thumb.gif

Recent phylogenetic analyses of bacterial HDACs suggest that all four HDAC classes preceded the evolution of histone proteins (Gregoretti et al., 2004). This suggests that the primary activity of HDACs may be directed against non-histone substrates. At least 50 non-histone proteins of known biological function have been identified, which may be acetylated and substrates of HDACs (Table 1) (Glozak et al., 2005Marks and Dokmanovic, 2005;Rosato and Grant, 2005Bolden et al., 2006Minucci and Pelicci, 2006Zhao et al., 2006). In addition, two recent proteomic studies identified many lysine-acetylated substrates (Iwabata et al., 2005Kim et al., 2006). In view of all these findings, HDACs may be better called ‘N-epsilon-lysine deacetylase’. This designation would also distinguish them from the enzymes that catalyse other types of deacetylation in biological reactions, such as acylases that catalyse the deacetylation of a range of N-acetyl amino acids (Anders and Dekant, 1994).

Non-histone protein targets of HDACs include transcription factors, transcription regulators, signal transduction mediators, DNA repair enzymes, nuclear import regulators, chaperone proteins, structural proteins, inflammation mediators and viral proteins (Table 1). Acetylation can either increase or decrease the function or stability of the proteins, or protein–protein interaction (Glozak et al., 2005). These HDAC substrates are directly or indirectly involved in many biological processes, such as gene expression and regulation of pathways of proliferation, differentiation and cell death. These data suggest that HDACi could have multiple mechanisms of inducing cell growth arrest and cell death (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Full figure and legend (90K)

Multiple HDACi-activated antitumor pathways. See text for detailed explanation of each pathway. HDAC6, histone deacetylase 6; HIF-1, hypoxia-induced factor-1; HSP90, heat-shock protein 90; PP1, protein phosphatase 1; ROS, reactive oxygen species; TBP2, thioredoxin binding protein 2; Trx, thioredoxin; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor.

http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v26/n37/images/1210620f1.jpg

HDACi have been discovered with different structural characteristics, including hydroximates, cyclic peptides, aliphatic acids and benzamides (Table 2) (Miller et al., 2003Yoshida et al., 2003Marks and Breslow, 2007). Certain HDACi may selectively inhibit different HDACs. For example, MS-275 preferentially inhibits HDAC1 with IC50, at 0.3 m, compared to HDAC3 with an IC50 of about 8 m, and has little or no inhibitory effect against HDAC6 and HDAC8 (Hu et al., 2003). Two novel synthetic compounds, SK7041 and SK7068, preferentially target HDAC1 and 2 and exhibit growth inhibitory effects in human cancer cell lines and tumor xenograft models (Kim et al., 2003a). A small molecule, tubacin, selectively inhibits HDAC6 activity and causes an accumulation of acetylated -tubulin, but does not affect acetylation of histones, and does not inhibit cell cycle progression (Haggarty et al., 2003). No other HDACi for a specific HDAC has been reported.

HDACi selectively alters gene expression

HDACi-induced antitumor pathways

  • HDACi induces cell cycle arrest
  • HDACi activates the extrinsic apoptotic pathways
  • HDACi activates the intrinsic apoptotic pathways
  • HDACi induces mitotic cell death
  • HDACi induces autophagic cell death and senescence
  • ROS, thioredoxin and Trx binding protein 2 in HDACi-induced cell death
  • Antitumor effects of HDAC6 inhibition
  • Activation of protein phosphatase 1
  • Disruption of the function of chaperonin HSP90
  • Disruption of the aggresome pathway
  • HDACi inhibits angiogenesis

HDACi can block tumor angiogenesis by inhibition of hypoxia inducible factors (HIF) (Liang et al., 2006). HIF-1 and HIF-2 are transcription factors for angiogenic genes (Brown and Wilson, 2004). The oxygen level can control HIF activity through two mechanisms. First, under normoxic conditions, HIF-1 binds to von Hippel–Lindau protein (pVHL) and is degraded by the ubiquitination–proteasome system. Second, HIF activity depends on its transactivation potential (TAP), which is affected by the interaction with the coactivator p300/CBP among others. This complex can be disrupted by Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH). Hypoxic conditions activate HIF through repression of the hydroxylases responsible for HIF degradation and loss of function.

 

Combination of HDACi with other antitumor agents

The HDACi have shown synergistic or additive antitumor effects with a wide range of antitumor reagents, including chemotherapeutic drugs, new targeted therapeutic reagents and radiation, by various mechanisms, some unique for particular combinations (Rosato and Grant, 2004Bhalla, 2005Marks and Dokmanovic, 2005Bolden et al., 2006).

Clinical development of HDACi

At least 14 different HDACi are in some phase of clinical trials as monotherapy or in combination with retinoids, taxols, gemcitabine, radiation, etc, in patients with hematologic and solid tumors, including cancer of lung, breast, pancreas, renal and bladder, melanoma, glioblastoma, leukemias, lymphomas, multiple myeloma (see National Cancer Institute website for CTEP clinical trials, ctep.cancer.gov or clinicaltrials.gov, and website of companies developing HDACi; Table 2).

The resistance to HDACi

Conclusions and perspectives

HDACs have multiple substrates involved in many biological processes, including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and other forms of cell death. Indeed, the fact that HDACs have histone and multiple nonhistone protein substrates suggests these enzymes should be referred to as ‘lysine deacetylases’. HDACi can cause transformed cells to undergo growth arrest, differentiation and/or cell death. Normal cells are relatively resistant to HDACi. HDACi are selective in altering gene expression, which may reflect, in part, the proteins composing the transcription factor complex to which HDACs are recruited. Both altered gene expression and changes in non-histone proteins caused by HDACi-induced acetylation play a role in the antitumor activity of HDACi. This is reflected in the different inducer-activated antitumor pathways in transformed cells (Figure 1). The functions of HDACs are not redundant. Thus, a pan-HDAC inhibitor such as vorinostat may activate more antitumor pathways and have therapeutic advantages compared to HDAC isotype-specific inhibitors.

Almost all cancers have multiple defects in the expression and/or structure of proteins that regulate cell proliferation and death. Compared to other antitumor reagents, the plurality of action of HDACi potentially confers efficacy in a wide spectrum of cancers, which have heterogeneity and multiple defects, both among different types of cancer and within different individual tumors of the same type. The multiple defects in a cancer cell may be the reason for transformed cells being more sensitive than normal cells to HDACi. Thus, given the relatively rapid reversibility of vorinostat inhibition of HDACs, normal cells may be able to compensate for HDACi-induced changes more effectively than cancer cells.

HDACi have synergistic or additive antitumor effects with many other antitumor reagents – suggesting that combination of HDACi and other anticancer agents may be very attractive therapeutic strategies for using these agents. Complete understanding of the mechanisms underlying the resistance and sensitivity to HDACi has obvious therapeutic importance. Targeting resistant factors will enhance the antitumor efficacy of HDACi. Identifying markers that can predict response to HDACi is a high priority for expanding the efficacy of these novel anticancer agents.

References  ….

NEWS AND VIEWS   Blocking HDACs boosts regulatory T cells

Nature Medicine News and Views (01 Nov 2007)

RESEARCH   

Dimethyl sulfoxide to vorinostat: development of this histone deacetylase inhibitor as an anticancer drug

Nature Biotechnology Research (01 Jan 2007)

Comments of reviewer:

 

The complexity of cancer has been known for almost a century, in large part from the seminal work of Otto Warburg in the 1920s using manometry, and following the work of Louis Pasteur 60 years earlier with fungi.

 

The volume of work and our unlocking of mitotic activity, apoptosis, mitochondria, and the cytoskeleton has taken us further into the cell interior, cell function, metabolic regulation, and pathophysiology.  Despite the enormous contributions to our knowledge of genomics, there is a large body of work in pathways of cell function that resides in no small part in activity of protein catalysts and enzymes.

 

The work that has been described covers only cyclic dinucleotides and HDACi’s.  Some of the activities described have relevance to microorganisms as well as cancer.  As we have seen, blocking HDACs boosts the activity of regulatory T-cells. There are many specific functional alterations elucidated above.

 

The first presentation is of an antibody that blocks an immune suppressor called CTLA4, antibodies that block another immune suppressor, PD1. This also involves a protein in cells that responds to foreign DNA to launch an innate immune response — the first response of the body’s immune system. The protein, dubbed STING, is triggered by small molecules called cyclic di-nucleotides (CDN), and makes immune cells release interferon and other cytokines that activate disease-fighting T cells and stimulate the production of antibodies that together kill invading pathogens and destroy cancer cells. Listeria bacteria, for example, secrete a CDN directly into infected cells that activates STING.

 

The second is resident in acetylation status of histones and non-histone proteins is determined by histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone acetyl-transferases (HATs). HATs add acetyl groups to lysine residues, while HDACs remove the acetyl groups. In general, acetylation of histone promotes a more relaxed chromatin structure, allowing transcriptional activation. HDACs can act as transcription repressors, due to histone deacetylation, and consequently promote chromatin condensation. HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) selectively alter gene transcription, in part, by chromatin remodeling and by changes in the structure of proteins in transcription factor complexes (Gui et al., 2004).  The description focuses on the molecular mechanisms triggered by inhibitors of zinc-dependent HDACs in tumor cells that explain in part: (I) the effects of these compounds in inducing transformed cell death and (II) the relative resistance of normal and certain cancer cells to HDACi induced cell death.

 

HDACs have multiple substrates involved in many biological processes, including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and other forms of cell death. Indeed, the fact that HDACs have histone and multiple nonhistone protein substrates suggests these enzymes should be referred to as ‘lysine deacetylases’. HDACi can cause transformed cells to undergo growth arrest, differentiation and/or cell death. Normal cells are relatively resistant to HDACi. HDACi are selective in altering gene expression, which may reflect, in part, the proteins composing the transcription factor complex to which HDACs are recruited. Both altered gene expression and changes in non-histone proteins caused by HDACi-induced acetylation play a role in the antitumor activity of HDACi.

 

 

 

 

 

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