18 November 2020

By Leigh Dayton

They may not be able to gather at the Melbourne Convention Centre this year, but global experts in immunotherapy will swap ideas December 15 & 16 as Eradicate Cancer 2020 goes virtual.

Taking on the role of conference convenor for the second time, after the highly successful inaugural Conference in 2018, Cartherics Chief Scientific Officer Richard Boyd says the conference will bring together the “necessary ingredients” to keep immunotherapeutic research and development moving towards the goal of managing cancer and potentially curing it by harnessing the body’s own defences against it.

“The platform we are using will allow delegates to communicate with one another, presenters, sponsors and industry partners who continue to support the project,” notes Boyd.

The platform will also enable delegates to hear headline speakers who could not travel to Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We are particularly thrilled to have Stanford University’s Irv Weissman, the highest ranked stem cell scientist globally, give the scene setting Opening Address,” notes Boyd. “When Irv speaks, we all listen.”

Together with some of Australia’s most important clinicians and medical scientists, there will be presentations from key international opinion Leaders such as Cassian Yee (MD Anderson, Houston) and Renier Brentjens (Memorial Sloan Kettering, NYC).

Helen Heslop (Baylor College Houston) and Cameron Turtle (Fred Hutch, Seattle), will also contribute, along with Robert Hofmeister from the leading cellular immunotherapy company TcR2, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

According to Boyd, Eradicate Cancer 2020 guarantees to bring participants and observers up to date on the latest technologies.

“Guess who is most attentive? The patients. We want to bring them real hope to combat their fear and despair.”

The conference participants will discuss the latest advances in key issues:

  • How far has the science progressed?
  • What successes are being achieved?
  • What are the hurdles?
  • What are the next frontiers in immunotherapy weaponry?
  • What combinations and interactions are required from research scientists, clinicians, industry, regulators and government to realise the clinical efficacy of new cutting-edge therapies?

Boyd adds that poster presenters will be able to give mini-oral presentations. The content will be available on-demand after the sessions. And, of course, a virtual conference is cheaper for presenters, delegates and sponsors alike.

Beyond research and of particular urgency will be a session which tackles the challenge facing all immunological research: translating promising finding into clinical therapies.

After carefully juggling global time zones, the program kicks off at 8am East Coast Australian time with a welcome from Boyd and Cartherics’ CEO Alan Trounson.