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Report from our EACR correspondent at the 4th Immunotherapy of Cancer (ITOC4) conference

The 4th Immunotherapy of Cancer conference took place in the Congress Centre in Prague, Czech Republic, from 20 - 22 March 2017.

EACR Member Dr. Vlasta Demeckova, a University lecturer from Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia, won a free registration to attend the meeting as an EACR Correspondent. You can read Vlasta’s report on her participation below.

"The conference helped me to expand my knowledge in cancer immunotherapy research and provoked a reflection upon my own research."

Interested in becoming our correspondent? Watch out for other opportunities to win free conference registrations through announcements in the EACR e-news bulletin.

Report from Dr. Vlasta Demeckova, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Slovakia

The 4th Leading International Conference on Immunotherapy of Cancer was held at the Congress Centre in the capital city of the Czech Republic. Prague has an amazing historical and cultural heritage. The venue for this conference was placed in a peaceful surrounding of historical "Vyšehrad" area. The focus of the meeting was to present the very best of immunotherapy research with a special emphasis on combination therapy, immuno-monitoring and biomarker development. The conference was organized jointly by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and the Cancer Drug Development Forum and it included 42 presentations and 51 Poster presentations.

The conference started by welcoming speech of prof. Christoph Zielinski (Medical University in Vienna) followed by opening plenary symposium chaired by Dr. H. Kaufman (New Jersey, USA) and H. Zwierzina (Innsbruck University, Austria) who introduced preclinical models and translational research. The Conference program was divided into seven sessions: Preclinical Models, Micro-environment, Novel targets, Combination therapy, Monitoring of immune response, Treatment of immune excluded tumours and Cell therapy. In each session, renowned speakers presented up to date information on recent studies in cancer immunotherapy. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on tumour microenvironment and novel targets. There were many inspiring new ideas which without doubt will be helpful in my research.

At the end of each conference day, delegates presented their studies in Poster Session at Forum Hall Foyer, where the Poster Session and the trade exhibition were held. Presenters discussed their results and received feedbacks. The Poster sessions and the Conference coffee /lunch breaks were very successful in terms of networking and interacting between scientists ranging from PhD students and post-docs to group leaders. The conference dinner was also truly memorable in the most positive way. It was placed in a beautiful church Sacre Coeur thus it had unique and fantastic atmosphere.

One of the most anticipated and exciting talks of the Conference was addressed by Professor Thierry Boon (Brussels, Belgium) who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Prof. Boon made fundamental discoveries that helped lay the foundations of cancer immunotherapy. In the Lecture, prof. Boon emphasized the narrow road between inefficacy and toxicity of cancer immunotherapy.

Dr. Sebastian Kobold (Germany) presented the Best Poster Awards winners and closed the very interesting, successful and enjoyable International Conference on Immunotherapy of Cancer.

I am very grateful to EACR for giving me the opportunity to attend the Conference and interact and network with leading experts in the research area. Overall, it was an excellent meeting in terms of quality of the lectures, good organisation and very friendly atmosphere. The conference helped me to expand my knowledge in cancer immunotherapy research and provoked a reflection upon my own research.

07 Apr 2017

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