2017 Archived Content

Microbiome in Immuno-Oncology

Understanding the relationship between the human microbiome and cancer could be instrumental in transforming immune-modulating therapies, since a certain immunotherapy is reliant on the gut’s microflora. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s inaugural symposium on Microbiome in Immuno-Oncology tracks both the scientific and clinical progress being made to discover and develop microbiome-derived biomarkers, drug targets, and bioactive molecules as potential treatments for cancer. Through interactive sessions and panel discussions, leading researchers and thought leaders will discuss how their work in this emerging field has and will continue to have tremendous impact on cancer and improve clinical outcomes for patients.

Final Agenda


• September 25 Symposium: Microbiome in Immuno-Oncology

• September 26-27 Conference: Targeting the Microbiome

• September 27-28 Conference: Autoimmune and Inflammation Drug Targets

• September 27 Short Course: Impact of Convergence of Immunotherapy and Epigenetics on Drug Discovery

• September 28-29 Symposium: CNS and Neurodegenerative Targets

7:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee

Mechanisms of Immune System-Directed Therapies for Cancer

7:55 Welcome Remarks

Cindy Crowninshield, RDN, LDN, HHC, Senior Conference Director, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

8:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

William Loging, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Genomics & Head, Production Bioinformatics, Genetics and Genomics Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Editor, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in Drug Discovery and Development

8:10 Targeting the Microbiome in I/O

Rodolphe_ClervalRodolphe Clerval, Chief Business Officer, Vice President US Operations, Enterome Bioscience

Enterome discovers and develops microbiome derived molecules in immunology (IBD & I/O). Our approach is based on complete genetic and functional analysis of the microbiome. First clinical product candidate in IBD based on novel disease-modifying mechanism of action.

8:40 Molecular Impacts of Immune Modulating Drugs on Cancer Patients

William_LongingWilliam Loging, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Genomics & Head, Production Bioinformatics, Genetics and Genomics Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Editor, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in Drug Discovery and Development, Cambridge University Press, 2016

The area of Immuno-Oncology provides a novel strategy for cancer treatment by utilizing the patient’s immune system to combat tumor growth. We investigated the impact of specific immune modulating drugs on patients with diagnosed tumors in order to understand the molecular changes that take place at the pathway level. These data are correlated to phenotypic effect and provide insights into the mechanism of immune system directed therapies for cancer.

 9:10 Microbiome in Immuno-Oncology

Lata Jayaraman, Ph.D., Head, Tumor Immunotherapy, Seres Therapeutics
The human gut microbiome is a diverse, dynamic and complex ecosystem that contains many different types of micro-organisms. Gut microbiota modulate several host processes including metabolism, inflammation and immune and cellular responses. Recent studies have shown that the microbiome can also influence the development of cancer, and equally importantly, tumor response to therapy, especially immunotherapy. It is therefore not inconceivable that therapeutic utility of the microbiome to enhance clinical response is a distinct possibility in the not-so-distant future. This presentation will cover the challenges and advantages of developing the microbiome as a drug.

9:40 Networking Coffee Break with Poster Viewing

10:10 The Breast Tissue Microbiome: Associations with Cancer and Cancer Risk

Tina_HiekenTina Hieken, M.D., Surgical Oncologist and Associate Professor of Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Breast tissue contains a complex microenvironment including epithelium, stroma and a mucosal immune system, providing evidence for an intrinsic breast tissue microbiome. Our pilot data has confirmed the existence of this breast tissue microbiome, distinct from that of breast skin and other microbial niches, with demonstrable differences in benign and malignant disease states using culture-independent genomic analysis of sterile human samples. We are expanding our analyses and exploring relationships between the microbiome of breast tissue, other body niches and the immune microenvironment in an effort to develop a biome-based approach to individualized breast cancer risk prediction and identify a platform for novel breast cancer prevention therapies.


11:10 Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

Influences of Inflammation and Nutrition in Microbiome and Cancer

1:10 pm Chairperson’s Remarks

Bonnie Feldman, D.D.S., MBA, Digital Health Analyst and Chief Growth Officer, DrBonnie360

1:20 Alimentary Effect in Microbiome and Cancer

Antonio Rezusta, Professor, Section Head, Microbiology, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet

This presentation discusses microbiota management in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Topics covered will include 1) the interest in knowing which microorganisms favor colon cancer, 2) the influence that can modify the microbiota in the prevention of cancer, 3) the influence that modifying the flora can have on the response to chemotherapy, and 4) the consequences for any cancer treatment of antimicrobial resistance.

1:50 Influences of Inflammation, Vitamin D Receptor, and Gut Microbiome in Cancers

Jun_SunJun Sun, Ph.D., AGA Fellow, Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago

Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in the pathology of over 17 types of cancers. Vitamin D exerts its regulatory roles in immunity, host defense, and inflammation via vitamin D receptor (VDR). We have demonstrated that VDR deletion leads to dysbiosis and human VDR gene variation shapes gut microbiome. Here, we will discuss influences of inflammation, VDR, and microbiome in cancers.

2:20 Microbial Allies across the Cancer Continuum:  Getting to Know Our Fiber-Fermenting Friends

Carrie_Daniel-MacDougallCarrie R. Daniel-MacDougall, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The gut microbiome’s role in inflammation, immunity, and carcinogenesis extends beyond specific pathogens to the wider community of beneficial, commensal bacteria, nurtured by fiber and resistant starch-rich “prebiotic” plant foods (e.g., Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Roseburia and Ruminococcus species). Building on longstanding, evidence-based dietary recommendations for chronic disease prevention, targetable diet-microbiota relationships stand at the interface of cancer prevention, treatment, and survival strategies.

2:50 Networking Refreshment Break with Poster Viewing

Promising Applications in Therapeutic Oncology: Current Practices and Emerging Platforms, Devices, and Therapies

3:30 Cancer Moonshot: Obtaining Patents on Oncologic Therapies

Joe_KovarikJoe Kovarik, J.D., Patent Attorney with Bioscience Focus and Shareholder, Sheridan Ross, P.C.

The ability to expedite the patent process for particular cancer therapies is an important aspect of current therapeutic Oncology. The ability to obtain funding for research, as well as the prospects for commercialization, are intimately tied to the ability to obtain patent protection. Mr. Kovarik, a patent attorney/inventor, will review what is required to participate in the “Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program” at the USPTO, providing real world examples of how this new program enables researchers to obtain an issued patent in a fraction of the time typically required under the conventional patent process.

4:00 Targeting Microbial b-Glucuronidases with Symbiotic Drugs to Improve Cancer Therapy

Bret_WallaceBret Wallace, Ph.D., Scientist, Symberix, Inc.

Many toxic compounds are inactivated by liver cells and subsequently reactivated by gut microbiota. We recently showed that E. coli GUS is one of several structurally distinct b-glucuronidases expressed in the human gut microbiome (i.e., human GUSome). We describe here potential uses of new symbiotic drugs that target harmful components of the human GUSome to improve cancer therapy. This includes prevention of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, improvement of chemotherapy survival outcomes, and cancer prevention. The GUSome is an emerging platform of druggable microbiome targets with promising applications in therapeutic oncology.

4:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Microbiome Therapeutics in Immuno-Oncology: Current Practices to Future Therapies

Zain Kassam, M.D., MPH, FRCPC, CMO, OpenBiome; Gastroenterologist, Epidemiologist and Research Affiliate, MIT Center for Microbiome Informatics & Therapeutics

5:00 Close of Symposium

5:00 Pre-Conference Dinner Short Course Registration

Click here for details on short courses offered.


View By: