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The changing landscape of diagnostic biomarkers: Exploring the one-biomarker-per-drug paradigm in oncology

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

The changing landscape of diagnostic biomarkers: Exploring the one-biomarker-per-drug paradigm in oncology

Recorded 01 May 2019


Personalized medicine and immunotherapy are changing the landscape of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Traditionally, the one-biomarker-per-drug model has been driving the development of single companion diagnostic tests to inform patient selection for drug therapy. This simple paradigm has been questioned recently, as our understanding of the complexity of tumor development has advanced—a single biomarker may provide insufficient information for accurate patient stratification. Importantly, the development of multiple tests for the same biomarker, often for the same indication, has further complicated the analysis. A classic example is the case of PD-L1, for which there are currently five different immunohistochemistry assays for use with five different PD-1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibody therapies.

In this webinar, using PD-L1 as a case study, our expert panel will discuss:

  • The current landscape and challenges of using single-protein biomarkers
  • The complexities inherent in using a different assay for each anti-PD-1/PD-L1 drug
  • Potential solutions to this problem, such as the move toward multibiomarker panels

The panel will also answer questions from the live, online audience.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Sacha Gnjatic, Ph.D.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY

Dr. Gnjatic received his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Paris VII after completing a fellowship at the Institut Cochin in Paris. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, he joined the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at MSKCC, where he eventually became an associate member and was named director of Immunological Monitoring at the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy. In 2013, Dr. Gnjatic was appointed to his current position of associate professor of medicine at the Tisch Cancer Institute and the Precision Immunology Institute, part of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. He also serves as associate director of the Human Immune Monitoring Core at Mount Sinai. Dr. Gnjatic’s research focuses on human antigen-specific immune responses to tumor antigens, in an attempt to define new targets for the development of cancer immunotherapies, assess the efficacy of these immunotherapies, and learn why they may fail. He also studies the mechanisms of antigen presentation to T cells, the impact of immunoregulation on tumor antigen-specific responses, and characterization of the tumor-immune microenvironment. By supporting correlative studies and biomarker discovery from peripheral blood and at the tissue site, Dr. Gnjatic’s work has established the immunological basis for testing human cancer immunotherapies in over 40 clinical trials, and has resulted in more than 150 publications in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous patents.

David Rimm, M.D., Ph.D.

Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven,  CT

Dr. Rimm is a professor in the Departments of Pathology and Internal Medicine (Medical Oncology) at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the director of Yale Pathology Tissue Services. He completed an M.D.-Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, followed by a pathology residency at Yale and a cytopathology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia. He is board certified in anatomic pathology and cytopathology. His research lab group focuses on quantitative pathology—carried out using the AQUA technology invented in his lab, and other quantitative methods—to predict patient response to both targeted therapy and immunotherapy for cancer. In addition, his group standardizes these assays for use in CLIA-certified laboratories, and tests new high-plex methods, including imaging mass cytometry (Fluidigm) and digital spatial profiling (NanoString). Dr. Rimm has supported projects related to rapid, low-cost diagnostic tests and direct tissue imaging. He serves on the College of American Pathologists Immunohistochemistry Committee as well as several scientific advisory boards for biotech and pharma companies. He is author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers and eight patents.

Houssein Abdul Sater, M.D.

National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Dr. Sater is a translational physician scientist (hematologist/oncologist) with special interest in immune therapy of cancer. He leads the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch efforts at understanding the role of cancer immunotherapy on the tumor (immune and non-immune) micro-environment. He is one of the few nationally recognized experts in tissue-based multiplex biomarker development and multispectral imaging. The Society of Immune Therapy of Cancer (SITC) chose him as one of 29 young leader investigators to tackle one of the major hurdles in immune therapy in a funded consortium effort (Sparkathon Timios Project). He also has an interest in the effect of demographics (gender, race, age, body mass index) on immune therapy as a biomarker for better personalized medicine.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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