The third day of the 2022 CRI-ENCI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference (CICON22) focused on two relatively new frontiers in the cancer field, starting with genetically engineered T cell therapies. The first session touched on a variety of exciting new approaches that give us hope that we can extend the benefits of cellular therapy to more patients and more cancer types. These therapies are currently only effective in blood cancers.
The T cells utilized in cell therapies have been at the center of cancer immunology research for some time now, and in the past several years the field’s focus has extended to include the tumor microenvironment and the many cells and molecules there. As the second session during Day 3 of CICON22 showed, however, we will need to expand our perspective even more to capture all the factors that influence cancer immunity and immunotherapy. In this regard, we might benefit from thinking of cancer as an ecosystem and taking into account our general immune health. Though this frontier is new and largely unexplored, it will be crucial to conquering cancer by developing personalized strategies for all patients.
To recap the highlights and what you need to know from Day 3 of CICON22, we spoke with the University of Pennsylvania’s E. John Wherry, PhD, a former Cancer Research Institute (CRI) fellow who now serves as an associate director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council.
Dr. E. John Wherry is the director of the Institute for Immunology, the chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, and the Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Check back later for our coverage of the final day at CICON22.