Are You Choosing the Right Model? A Guide to Selecting Your Next Immuno-Oncology Model

Drug Discovery & Development, Preclinical, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical,
  • Thursday, June 22, 2017

Recent regulatory approvals and fast-track designations have signified the coming of age of cancer immunotherapy as a treatment paradigm. Among experimental immunotherapies, monoclonal antibodies targeting immune regulation checkpoints e.g. cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) are demonstrating impressive clinical benefits in a range of cancer types. However, development of effective new immunotherapeutics still faces many challenges. We are still unsure why some patients and diseases benefit from these treatments while others do not. It is also currently unknown how to maximize the benefits from these agents e.g. through combination therapy approaches or between targeting different immune checkpoints.

 Determining the best experimental immunotherapy model is a major obstacle toward answering these questions and developing better treatments. At present, most commonly used experimental cancer models comprise of human tumors grown in immunocompromised mice, derived from either in vitro immortalized cancer cells (cell line derived xenografts) or patient tumors (patient-derived xenografts, or PDX). The lack of functional immunity in these immunodeficient mice has significantly hindered the research and development of new immunotherapy agents. Syngeneic and genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) with functional murine immunity are available; however, each has their own benefits and limitations. As new models are also developed, with different capabilities, choosing the correct and relevant preclinical model is critical, particularly to recapitulate clinical treatments including combination therapies..

 Attendees will learn about:

  • The latest in vivo cancer pharmacology models and what to consider when choosing the proper model
  • How these models are used to investigate combination regimens of multiple immuno-therapies and immunotherapeutics combined with other treatment modalities, which correspond to current clinical investigations


Dr. Michelle Mack, Global Director, Scientific Engagement, Crown Bioscience Inc.

Michelle Mack, Director of Scientific Engagement at Crown Bioscience brings 15 years of previous Oncology R & D experience from Pfizer Inc., where she was a Senior Scientist in the Oncology Research Unit and served as a research project leader on oncology therapeutic programs. At Pfizer, she led cross-functional teams exploring approaches that included:  small-molecule inhibitors, antibody drug conjugates and nanoparticle based therapeutics.  Michelle’s scientific expertise span’s the preclinical and translational space for multiple solid and hematological tumor indications.  Throughout her professional career, Michelle has worked in Oncology, Immunology and Immuno-Oncology therapeutic areas.  She has several high-impact peer-reviewed publications and has led discussions at multiple scientific conferences.  Michelle obtained her undergraduate degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.  She then received her M.S. in microbiology and is currently completing her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Seton Hall University.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

Scientists and decision makers in the areas of Cancer and Immunology

Relevant Job Functions:

  • Principal Scientists
  • Principal Investigators
  • C-level/VPs/Directors of Drug Discovery and R&D
  • C-level/VPs/Directors of Preclinical Trials

Industry segment:

  • Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology companies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Academia (professors, post doctoral fellows & laboratory managers)


Xtalks Partner

Crown Bioscience

Crown Bioscience is a global drug discovery and development solutions company providing translational platforms to advance oncology and metabolic disease research. With an extensive portfolio of relevant models and predictive tools, Crown Bioscience enables clients to deliver superior clinical candidates.

CrownBio has a range of immunotherapy research platforms available for preclinical drug development. Primarily, our PDX models can be utilized within immunocompromised, or partially compromised, settings to evaluate a variety of immunotherapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies (unpublished data), or agents that modulate certain non-T-mouse immunity, such as natural killer (NK) cell functions.We further provide a range of immunotherapy platforms encompassing mouse immunity, human immunity, and a novel chimeric system for development of human biologic therapeutics.

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