Fundamental questions of cancer immunology: what scientists say in 2021?
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Fundamental questions of cancer immunology: what scientists say in 2021?

30.04.2021

Fundamental questions of cancer immunology: what scientists say in 2021?

In 2021, the White Nights Forum is going to shower its attention on cancer immunology. Understanding the role of the immune system in the progression and development of cancer will allow us to improve cancer treatments. Sections devoted to various facets of cancer immunology are scheduled to take place on June 24. What will the speakers talk about? Read in our review.

Session: Fundamental questions of cancer immunology

The session is dedicated to the most interesting and important areas for the development of the fundamental immunology, tumor immunology and applied research which help to move forward cancer immunotherapy - a promising type of cancer treatment.

Professor Tatiana N. Zabotina, D.M.Sc., form the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology will give a presentation titled ‘Immunologic heterogeneity of tumor microenvironment’, which is about the characteristics of microenvironments that surround tumors and are comprised of immune cells of lymphoid and myelogenous origin depending on a specific disease.

Olga E. Savelieva, D.M.Sc., from the General and Molecular Pathology Department of the Cancer Research Institute of the Tomsk National Research Medical Center will give a talk titled ‘The phenomenon of hybrid cells, carrying leukocyte and epithelial markers in breast cancer’. Her talk will deal with the phenomenon of hybrid cells of the primary tumor and peripheral blood, carrying leukocyte (CD45) and epithelial (cytokeratin and EpCAM) markers. Dr Savelieva will demonstrate the results of phenotypic and genotypic analysis of subpopulations of hybrid cells: stemness properties, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and their ability to recruit to the premetastatic niche. She will also discuss the role of various subpopulations of hybrid cells in tumor progression.

Professor Andrei S. Simbirtsev, D.M.Sc. and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, from the National Research Institute for High Purity Biologicals of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency will discuss the role of cytokines in the immunopathogenesis and cancer treatment as well as in malignant transformation, tumor progression and metastatic dissemination. Professor Simbirtsev will also talk about the anti-tumor immune response as a factor promoting the suppression or stimulation of tumor development, and the future of cancer immunotherapy.

Vladimir A. Kozlov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Head of research of the Research Institute of Fundamental and Clinical Immunology in Novosibirsk will give a presentation titled ‘Tumor: At home among strangers, an outcast at home’. His presentation will discuss tumor-associated and tumor-specific antigens and their role in the relationship between the tumor and immune system. Mr Kozlov compares tumor-associated antigens with a Trojan horse for tumor cells. Cytotoxic cells of the immune system are ready to kill the ‘strangers’ aka tumor-specific antigens, but their mission is thwarted by the populous regulatory T-cell army which stops the killing of cells with tumor-associated antigens. Thus, by being loyal to their own ‘people’,the cells of the immune system let ‘strangers’ in.

Vitali Y. Alexeev, PhD (Medicine), from the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College in the USA will make a talk titled ‘The development and future of RNA vaccines in cancer immunology’. He will tell about a growing interest in modern cancer immunology to nucleic acid-based vaccines, in particular RNA-based vaccines. His presentation will discuss the structural changes of RNA vaccines that make them more efficient;possible development of vaccines using known and new oncospecific antigen epitopes; and the improvement of methods for the delivery of RNA to various cells and tissues in vivo.

Professor Mikhail V. Kiselevskiy, D.M.Sc. and Head of the Laboratory of Cell Immunity, from the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology will talk about promising biomedical cell products for clinical oncology. His presentation will discuss the implementation of biomedical cell products based on genetically modified lymphocytes with chimeric T cell receptor capable of recognizing tumor-associated antigens into clinical practice. Such implementation will allow to enlarge the anti-cancer armamentarium.


Session: Research in the field of cancer immunology in Russia

This session is dedicated to research applications and findings by leading medical research centers and institutes of Russia.

Vsevolod A. Misyurin, PhD (Medicine), from the Research Institute for Experimental Diagnostics and Therapy of Tumors of the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology will make a presentation titled ‘Nanocontainers and antibodies to deliver granzyme B to the tumor cell’. Granzyme B is a powerful mediator of apoptosis; however, it cannot penetrate a tumor cell without help, soCAR-T cell sare used to deliver granzyme B. A less burdensome method of granzyme B delivery is suggested by Mr Kozlov and his team – nanocontainers that are made of various materials, including polymers, lipids, proteins and DNA strands, and release their contents inside the cell cytoplasm.

Aleksandr G. Borisov, PhD (Medicine) and Chief of Medicine of the Institute of Clinical Immunology, from the Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North will give a presentation titled ‘Application of localization diagnosis of immune disorders’. By examining the immune system of renal cancer patients, he will demonstrate the principles of localization diagnosis to deliver person-oriented immunotropic therapy.

Natalia A. Efremova from the Research Division of Cancer Immunology of the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology will share the results of a study of immunological features and clonogenic potential of sarcomas. Dr Efremova’s talk will deal with finding new prognostic and predictive markers of efficacy of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic sarcomas of bones and soft tissues.

Tatiana L. Nekhaeva, PhD (Medicine), from the Research Division of Cancer Immunology of the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology will give a presentation titled ‘Formation of immune synapse in the assessment of post-vaccination antitumor immune response’. The presentation will examine the processes of formation of immune synapse to find immunotherapeutic targets in cancer treatment, predict the course of the disease and adjust the treatment.

Aleksandr B. Sagakyants, PhD (Biology) and Head of Laboratory of Tumor Immunophenotyping, from the Rostov Research Institute of Oncology will give a presentation titled ‘Parameters of immunological status of oncohematological patients with concurrent COVID-19’. Development of lymphomas goes hand in hand with deficiencies in the structure and functions of the immune system, which leads to a compromised immune system. Thus, such patients are at a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV, which will run a much severe course. The presentation will demonstrate the results of studying the parameters of cell immunity as well as the cytokine status of patients with various types of lymphomas who have undergone several bouts of chemotherapy and received anti-CD20+ antibody therapy, and have a concurrent COVID-19 infection confirmed by a PCR test.

Anton Yu. Zozulya from the Research Division of Cancer Immunology of the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology will give a presentation titled ‘Study of the expression of PD-L1 and changes in the immune status of patients with oligometastatic tumors who have undergone stereotactic radiation therapy’. Dr Zozulya will share the results of a study ofthe changes in the immune status of patients who have undergone stereotactic radiation therapy, as well as the relationship between immunological changes and PD-L1 expression.


Session: Promising areas for the development of cancer immunology

The session contemplates new areas for the development of cancer immunology, which are being currently explored and are of great interest as a means of evolution of cancer treatments and ways of prevention of possible complications.

Sergei S. Larin, PhD (Biology) and Deputy Director of the High School of Molecular and Experimental Medicine of the Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center will give a presentation titled ‘CAR-T cells – a modern tool in the armamentarium of immunotherapy for cancer treatment’. The presentation will deal with genetically engineered modifications of lymphocytes for immunotherapy of malignant tumors. He will talk about the general principles of making and studying lymphocytes with chimeric receptors, and present the results of his team’s pre-clinical studies of CAR-T lymphocytes for solid and hematologic tumors.

Andrei V. Misyurin, D.M.Sc. and CEO of OOO “GeneTechnology” (Limited Liability Company) will give a presentation titled ‘Antitumor effect of the immune complex and monoclonal anti-NY ESO1 antibodies: a study in animal model’. The presentation will demonstrate the results of an in vivo study of the immunogenicity and anticancer activity of an immune complex containing recombinant NY-ESO-1 antigen and its monoclonal antibody as well as monoclonal anti-NY-ESO-1 antibody without the antigen. Animal and cell models were used to study the antitumor activity of monoclonal anti-NY-ESO-1 antibody and immune complexes containing monoclonal antibody.

Professor Andrei A. Savchenko, D.M.Sc. and Head of the Laboratory of Cell Molecular Physiology and Pathology,from the Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences will talk about the regulatory effect of metabolites on patterns of subpopulations and functional activity of monocytes in cancer patients. The presentation will deal with the mechanisms of the effect of metabolites of tumor microenvironment in vitro (lactate, ADP and glutamate) on patterns of subpopulations of monocytes and their functional activity in kidney cancer patients.

Irina V. Guzhova, D.M.Sc. and Head of the Department of Molecular and Cell Interaction, from the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences will give a presentation titled ‘The potential of molecular chaperones in antitumor immunotherapy. Laboratory research and pre-clinical studies’. The presentation will discuss the effect of molecular chaperones on the activation of innate and acquired immunity, and examine the use of Hsp70 in combination with other cancer treatments.

Irina A. Baldueva, D.M.Sc. and Head of the Research Division of Cancer Immunology, from the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology will talk about the current viewpoint on the relationship between the primary tumor and its metastases and the immune system. The presentation will summarize the current treatments of malignant tumors and analyze the reasons for their lack of efficacy, such as intratumoral heterogeneity and multiplicity of molecular mechanisms of tumor progression. It will also deal with tumor microenvironment and the role of chronic inflammation in tumor progression.

The session will end with a talk by Aleksey V. Novik, PhD (Medicine), from the Research Division of Cancer Immunology of the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology who will sum up the main talking points of the most interesting presentations.

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