Several sessions at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo cover emerging technologies and research into cancer pathology and therapeutics, particularly immunology. These leading-edge presentations underscore the vital role of clinical laboratories in advancing cancer research and treatment.

New Immunotherapies: The Beginning of the End of Cancer? (32102)

Lillian Siu, MD, FRCPC, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at University Health Network in Toronto, and her colleague Ivan Blasutig, PhD, will highlight the promise of immunotherapy in cancer treatment, emphasizing new targets such as PD1, PDL1, and CTLA-4.

Siu told CLN Stat that she plans to focus on already approved immunotherapy agents, challenges inherent in this type of therapy, and data on immunotherapy studies presented in June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She will also discuss immune-related adverse events and the health-related quality-of-life instrument her lab is developing specifically for immune checkpoint modulators.                                                                                                                                           

Beyond Single-Gene Analysis: Paving the Way to Comprehensive Tumor Genomic Profiling (32219)

In this session, Diane Mandelker, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, will highlight the work MSKCC is doing to provide clinical germline genetic testing for advanced cancer patients undergoing tumor-normal sequencing to detect somatic mutations.

“Our biggest challenge with sequential gene testing algorithms is a logistical/administrative one to make sure that the appropriate reflex testing gets performed—or sent out to reference laboratory—upon negative results of the first test without any unnecessary delays,” she said.

“Instituting genetic testing for these patients,” Mandelker continued, “requires a multi-disciplinary approach to address testing logistics, ethical considerations, and proper genetic counseling for patients.”

Other cancer-related sessions include:

The Genomic Testing Revolution: An Interactive Workshop With Case Examples

Personalized, Genotype-Directed Treatment and Liquid Biopsy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Correcting Nature’s Mistakes and Beyond: The Promise of Gene Therapy

Obesity and Cancer

Using Flow Cytometry to Identify Cellular Biomarkers for Cancer Immunotherapy