Sidra Medical and Research Center and the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) organized and hosted the “Updates on Immunotherapy of Cancer and Immunoscore” Symposium on January 22-23 here in Doha, attracting leading authorities in oncology and immunotherapy who shared the latest research on novel cancer treatments using the body’s own protective response. This joint venture attracted over 300 delegates from around the world to hear 30 international speakers.
Immunotherapy uses the immune system’s T-cells to find and kill cancerous cells while avoiding the damage to healthy tissue commonly caused by many of the current forms of treatment, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Sidra’s Chief Research Officer and SITC President, Dr. Francesco Marincola explains, “Our immune system is elegantly structured to recognize self from non-self, vigorously attacking cells deemed foreign. The goal of cancer immunotherapy is to understand these mechanisms and to promote anti-tumor immune responses. I am honored that the world’s top minds in immunotherapy research and practice are took part in this meeting, which will spur international collaborations and further this breakthrough research. Genetics and disease risk assessment will be one of the Centers of Excellence at Sidra and we look forward to continuing our relationship with SITC and other international institutions in the immunotherapy arena to bring personalized treatments to patients”.
Speakers debated the latest research advances, focusing on currently approved and emerging tumor immunotherapy approaches, as well as the latest country updates on the initiative Immunoscore, which is an effort to change international practice around cancer prognosis for patients. The Immunoscore initiative advocates incorporating immune scoring as a prognostic factor and introducing this parameter as a marker to classify cancers as part of the routine diagnostic and prognostic assessment of tumors.
“This novel approach for cancer treatment has far-reaching implications, including the way cancer is treated in the GCC region,” said Dr. Marincola. This is especially important for Qatar where the burden of cancer is high and is accountable for 10% of all deaths. “Sidra is dedicated to furthering research that will help bring novel treatments for devastating diseases like cancer to patients across the globe.”
For more information about the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, please visit www.sitcancer.org.