Session Abstract – PMWC 2020 Silicon Valley

A growing body of evidence suggests that the broader community of gut microbes may influence cancer risk, provide diagnostic insight, shape clinical course, and impact treatment success. Microbiome-directed therapies hold tremendous promise for personalized therapies and improved treatment outcomes.

 Session Chair Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Marcel van den Brink is a medical oncologist with experience in both laboratory and clinical research, particularly in strategies to improve allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). He is the Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at MSKCC and holds a joint appointment in the Immunology and Transplantation Program. As a clinical scientist he has been involved in immunotherapeutic trials of cytokines, cell therapies, tumor vaccines and BMT for patients with hematologic malignancies. His laboratory is devoted to the immunology of BMT and he studies post-transplant immune reconstitution, pathophysiology of graft-versus-host disease, the intestinal microbiota in BMT recipients, and the biology of graft-versus-tumor in patients and mouse models. Both as a Division Head and a laboratory Principal.

Impact Of Microbiota On Allogeneic HCT
Patients undergoing HCT display dramatic changes in composition of their intestinal flora during Allogeneic HCT. These changes can lead to or have significant impact on clinically relevant outcomes including relapse, GVHD, infections, and organ toxicity. Manipulation of intestinal flora offers a novel approach to improve overall outcomes after Allo HCT.

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Senior Director Host Biology, Seres Therapeutics

Joe Ponte is Senior Director of Host Biology at Seres Therapeutics. He has over 15 years of industry research experience in cell and molecular biology, pharmacology and translational medicine in the areas of oncology and immuno-oncology. He currently leads efforts to implement in vivo models to advance the understanding of host microbiome interactions in inflammatory disease and cancer. Additionally, he leads a cross-functional team within Seres that’s responsible for advancing the immnuno-oncology pipeline. Prior to joining Seres, Joe led the translational team for Immunogen’s lead antibody drug conjugate, mirvetuximab soravtansine, and was responsible for bringing an anti-GITR antibody from the research bench to the clinic while at Tolerx, Inc. Joe received his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Vermont and did his post-doctoral training at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Leveraging The Gastrointestinal Microbiome For Clinical Benefit
Awareness of the gastrointestinal microbiome as an important determinant of health has recently increased. I will outline an approach for the development of microbiome-based therapies that has led to encouraging clinical data in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and optimism for the future of this novel modality in the immune-oncology setting.