Novel Targets Podcast

Bringing to Life the Science around Innovative New Drugs, Gene and Cell Therapies

In this episode of Novel Targets, we take a broad look at a range of new data that has been emerging for the treatment of breast cancer from several recent cancer meetings, and hear from experts who are shaping the future.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of our friend Jody Schoger, one of the founders of the #BCSM breast cancer community.

1. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

Not all studies are company sponsored.  Some of them are driven by academics and may involve patients in novel and collaborative ways. Suppose you happen to be a person with metastatic breast cancer… you could have the power to accelerate cancer research in a way that no one else can, as we found in an compelling and candid interview with Dana Farber’s Dr Nikhil Wagle.

Welcome back to Season 3!

In this episode we’re tackling one of the hottest topics in cancer research, why do cancer immunotherapies work in some people, but not in others? Why do they stop working? If we want to obtain long durable responses, then we have to understand and overcome resistance. Some of the meaty topics covered on this episode include:

  • Initial resistance
  • Acquired resistance
  • Immune escape
  • How we may be able to turn non-responders into responders
  • Overcoming immuno-suppression within the tumor microenvironment.

For the Season 2 finale, we’re at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). You’ll hear from Dr Alexis Thompson, Dr Brian Druker, Dr Bruce Cheson and Dr John Leonard on some of the latest developments in hematology.

ASH16 Sand Sculpture on Curing Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease – Interview with Dr Alexis Thompson

Alexis A Thompson MD MPH is Professor Pediatrics (Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation) at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. A Vice President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), she will become President in 2018.

Dr Thompson is a leader in sickle cell disease (SCD) and at #ASH16, she introduced the plenary presentation by Dr Kenneth Ataga (UNC) on crizanlizumab for the prevention of pain crises in sickle cell disease. Link to NEJM paper

In this episode we’re targeting ovarian cancer: PARP inhibitors, biomarkers and novel immunotherapy combinations. You’ll hear from  Professor George Coukos, Dr Rebecca Kristeleit and other ovarian cancer experts about some of the data presented at the 2016 Congress of European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Copenhagen.


Interview with Professor George Coukos, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Professor George Coukos is Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Lausanne and Director of the Swiss branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Professor Coukos is at the forefront of innovative translational research into ovarian cancer, and in particular how to make cancer immunotherapy more effective in this disease.

How do we make CAR T cell therapy more safe and effective? How can we target solid tumors? In this episode we hear from two cell therapy pioneers: Dr Michael Jensen & Dr Michel Sadelain.

Interview with Dr Michel Sadelain

Dr Michel Sadelain (pictured) is Director of the Center for Cell Engineering at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He’s spent the last 25 years pioneering new approaches to adoptive cell therapy.

Dr Sadelain and colleagues at Memorial were responsible for the development of what is known as the second generation Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell construct and for identifying CD19 as a target.