The Earle A. Chiles Research Institute Shines at SITC 2017 Annual Meeting

November 22, 2017
Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D.,
Member, director and endowed chair, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Institute

The Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Center in Portland, Ore., was well-represented at the 2017 annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer held November 8-12 in Bethesda, Md. Attendance at this highly anticipated event has grown annually, thanks to recent progress in immunotherapy for patients with cancer.

Dr. Curti with Rom Leidner, M.D., assistant member, Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Program, at SITC 2017 Annual Meeting.

More than twenty abstracts with original contributions by our investigators were selected for presentation at SITC. Of note, abstract O20, Pivot-02: Preliminary Safety, Efficacy and Biomarker Results from the Phase 1/2 Study of CD-122-biased Agonist NKTR-214 Plus Nivolumab in Patients with Locally Advanced / Metastatic Solid Tumors, coauthored by Brendan D. Curti, M.D., member and director of Genitourinary Oncology Research and Cytokine and Adoptive Immunotherapy, was selected for oral presentation. At present, we are one of two sites on the West Coast recruiting for this phase 2 study of patients with renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, urothelial carcinoma and triple-negative breast cancer, with many more sites across the world soon to be added.

Waterfall plot of best clinical response (RECIST 1.1) post-treatment. Dotted line at -30% change from baseline indicates the RECIST 1.1 threshold for definition of partial response.

Additionally, two poster abstracts from our Cancer Immunotherapy Laboratory led by William L. Redmond, Ph.D., associate member and director, Immune Monitoring Laboratory, reported preclinical and early clinical data from the investigator-initiated, first-in-human phase 1 study of GR-MD-02, a complex carbohydrate drug that targets galectin-3, used in combination with pembrolizumab for patients with advanced melanoma. This study, sponsored by Galectin Therapeutics, highlights the strength of our multidisciplinary team of immunologists and physician scientists in developing novel treatments from our bench-to-bedside translational immunotherapy research. Learn more about this study in the Galectin-Providence joint press release.

Sturgill, Ph.D.

As an institution committed to training the next generation of cancer immunologists, we are delighted that three of our trainees received the SITC Young Investigator Travel Award granted to promising young investigators who submitted high-scoring abstracts based on the quality of their research and potential to advance the field. And one of our newest faculty members, David B. Page, M.D., assistant member, Breast Cancer Immunotherapy, was included among 29 early-career scientists to participate in the inaugural SITC Sparkathon cohort to explore critical hurdles that challenge the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Abstracts from SITC 2017 are available online in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Volume 5 Supplement 2, Part 1 and Part 2, and an excerpt of abstracts with our contributions is available here.