Boosting Immuno-Oncology Therapies to the Next Level: New Combinations & Approaches


  • Jeff Bockman, PhD, Executive Vice President, Head of Oncology Practice, Defined Health
  • Joel Sandler, PhD, Associate Principal, Defined Health


  • Michael Curran, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology Scientific Director, ORBIT Program, MD Anderson
  • Rachel Humphrey, MD, Vice President, Head of Immuno-Oncology, Eli Lilly

While observations of a relationship between infection and cancer regression date back at least a century, harnessing one’s immune response as a viable anticancer strategy has only recently begun to bear fruit, with the demonstration of dramatic clinical responses in heavily pretreated patients receiving infusions of mAb-based inhibitors (checkpoints, bispecifics), immunostimulants (oncolytics, vaccines), or engineered T-cells (CARTs, TCRs).  While such tantalizing results have led to speculation that immunotherapy is “the beginning of the end of cancer”[1], and to correspondingly astronomic revenue projections for the class, many challenges remain, including efficacy restrictions to certain cancer types, limitations of extant translational models, ill-defined biomarker selection strategies, and serious, sometimes life-threatening, safety concerns.  And while new modalities and combination strategies are emerging from all directions at a rapid clip, concerns about resource limitations and budgetary restrictions demand that we as an industry think very deeply about how to put our best foot forward in order to achieve optimal positioning within such a dynamic landscape.

Join Defined Health and our panelists as we discuss how recent breakthroughs may redefine how therapies are provided to patients. Throughout the discussion, the panelists will respond to questions from both our moderators and the audience.

[1] Citigroup, 2013