2014 Archived Content

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Second Annual

Predictive Preclinical Models in Oncology

Delivering Reproducible and Predictive Research Results

February 10-12, 2014 | Moscone North Convention Center | San Francisco, CA


Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure 

Tuesday, February 11

7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee

8:00 PLENARY KEYNOTE SESSION (Click Here For More Details) 



 9:15 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing  





10:25 Chairperson’s Remarks
Jocelyn Holash, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator, Novartis  

10:30 Pfizer’s Strategy for the Application of Preclinical Models to Fuel Discovery Biology and Drug DiscoveryPeter Olson, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Pfizer PharmaceuticalsPreclinical models play increasingly pivotal roles in anticancer drug development, from target identification, to candidate selection and beyond.  These disease models should ideally reflect the complexity and heterogeneity of human cancer, while retaining technical features compatible with industry-level testing scale and timelines.  This presentation will focus on Pfizer’s strategy regarding the use of patient-derived xenografts as relevant preclinical models for cancer drug discovery.

11:00 Biomarker-Guided Breast Cancer Drug Evaluation in I-SPY 2

Laura J. van ‘t Veer, Ph.D., Professor of Laboratory Medicine, University of California San Francisco; Leader, Breast Oncology Program; Associate Director, Applied Genomics, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; Principal Investigator, Bay Area Breast Cancer SPORE; Angela and Shu Kai Chan Endowed Chair in Cancer Research


11:30 Paradoxical Acceleration of Pancreatic Tumorigenesis through Smoothened Inhibition: A Post-Clinical Trial in Genetically Engineered MiceKenneth Olive, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Irving Cancer Research Center, Columbia UniversityNumerous agents are being developed to attack the stroma of pancreatic tumors, despite the failure of one such agent, a Smoothened inhibitor, in clinical trials. We performed a post-clinical evaluation of the consequences of Smoothened inhibition and found that acute versus chronic dosing regimens had opposite effects of overall survival. The mechanistic basis for these difference are under investigation.

12:00 pm Found in Translation: Patient-Derived Xenograft Models Define Molecular Signatures of Metastasis and Therapeutic Targets

Fredika M. Robertson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Center for Targeted Therapy; Director, Translational Therapeutics Laboratory, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

This presentation will describe development of novel patient-derived xenograft models using breast tumor cells from patients with metastatic disease. Genomic pathway analysis identified enrichment of genes that regulate maintenance of a cancer stem cell phenotype and those that regulate hypoxia, glucose uptake and glutamine metabolism. These insights into pathways activated during breast tumor progression can be matched by existing and emerging therapies for development of clinical trials.

12:30 Session Break  

12:40 Luncheon Presentation I: Creating a Functional Human Immune System in Mice to Better Predict Efficacy of New Classes of Oncology and Immunology Drugs
Jean-François Mirjolet, Ph.D., Technology Director, Oncodesign 
Tumor and inflammation microenvironments are the targets of new classes of therapeutic drugs. Second generation NOG mice are now available that surpass the limitations of the previous generation. For example, mice expressing human IL2 improve in vivo human NK functionality and mice expressing human HLA allow for the in vivo evaluation of human HLA restricted function.  

1:10 Luncheon Presentation II (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)
1:40 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing 

2:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Serguei Kozlov, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Center for Advanced Preclinical Research, SAIC-Frederick, Inc. 

2:20 Preclinical Models to Help Identify Responder Populations in the Clinic

Jocelyn Holash, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator, Novartis

Novartis has built a range of tools that allow us to define the characteristics of cancers that are most responsive to specific targeted therapies. In this presentation I will describe these tools and provide examples of how we have used them to support clinical trials.

2:50 Increasing Predictability of Tumor Animal Models via Systematic Validation

Terry A. Van Dyke, Ph.D., Head, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program; Program Director, Cancer Pathways and Mechanisms, National Cancer Institute


 3:20 Preclinical and Clinical Applications of Patient Derived Xenograft (PDX) Models

Yan Yang, Ph.D., Director, Laboratory Operations, In Vivo Services, The Jackson Laboratory

We have established a unique collaboration with over 20 clinical centers to advance cancer treatment. Patient tumors transplanted into the NSG mouse are being screened with SOC and experimental therapeutics for preclinical research or the refinement of patient treatment regimens.

3:50 PANEL DISCUSSION: Challenging Cancer Heterogeneity with Reproducible and Predictive Preclinical Studies

Moderator: Terry A. Van Dyke, Ph.D., Head, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program; Program Director, Cancer Pathways and Mechanisms, National Cancer Institute
Panelists: Speakers of the Session

4:20 Valentine’s Day Celebration in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

5:20 Breakout Discussions in the Exhibit Hall

TABLE: Evolving strategies for designing and developing preclinical GEM models: on the cross-roads of technology and biology
Terry A. Van Dyke, Ph.D., Head, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program; Program Director, Cancer Pathways and Mechanisms, National Cancer Institute
Serguei Kozlov, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Center for Advanced Preclinical Research, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.

TABLE: Metastatic Tumor Models – Development, Application, and Challenges
Kevin G. Leong, Ph.D., Scientist, Discovery Oncology, Genentech, Inc.   

  • Existing and novel metastatic models - advantages, disadvantages, and clinical relevance
  • Application of metastatic models for testing novel therapies that target the metastatic process or established metastases
  • Challenges associated with translatability of preclinical findings

TABLE: How to Best Utilize Patient Derived Xenografts in Oncology Drug Development
Neal Goodwin, Ph.D., Vice President, Corporate Research Development, Champions Oncology, Inc.    

  • What types of PDX study designs are best for early stage compounds? Late stage compounds?
  • What are the important questions we want answered from PDX models?
  • Where are the gaps in the currently available oncology models? 

6:30 Close of Day

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure 

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