Liz Burton has over 15 years of experience in the design and conduct of clinical and translational research efforts. Currently, as the Director of Research Planning and Development of Melanoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center, she is responsible for the strategic and scientific development and the oversight of interdisciplinary research activities across the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her contributions have been critical to the development of numerous melanoma initiatives, institutional efforts such as the MD Anderson Brain Metastasis Clinic, and have resulted in co-authoring numerous high impact clinical and translational research publications (Science, Nature Medicine, Lancet Oncology). Of these efforts, Liz develops and oversees external collaborations with academic and industry partners – generating a robust portfolio of research activity for the program. Recently, Liz helped establish the International Neo-adjuvant Melanoma Consortium (INMC), and she continues to lead the international collaborators by serving on the INMC Steering Committee.
The advent of immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment. Specifically, the development of antibodies that target and block signaling through immune checkpoints has led to promising clinical results in a variety of cancers. Antibodies against immune checkpoints such as CTLA-4, PD-1, and PD-L1 have received FDA approval for the treatment of a growing number of solid tumors. Despite the success of single-agent immune checkpoint blockade therapy, clinical benefit has been limited to a minority of patients. This session will explore emerging checkpoint inhibitors and other immunomodulatory agents designed to further improve clinical response rates and outcomes.