In late November, BioCanRx’s network community, stakeholders and sponsors met virtually for the fifth Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy (Summit4CI) – BioCanRx’s annual scientific conference. Summit4CI brought together close to 400 attendees including leading scientists, clinicians, trainees, economists and representatives from industry, patient groups, charities and government.
The Scientific Programming Committee organized a great agenda including plenaries on Advances in Cellular Immunotherapy, Approaches to Making Cold Tumors Hot and Advances in Pediatric Immunotherapy. The Oxford-style Debate focused on “Who is driving the CAR: NK cells vs T Cells.” It was Dr. Jean-Sébastien “T cells rule” Delisle VS Dr. Michele “NK cells rock” Ardolino. After a lively debate, with strong arguments presented on both sides, the audience voted and declared Dr. Ardolino the winner.
Our network trainees took part in an HQP Development Day including a Meet the Experts lunch and more. Again this year, the scientific posters by our trainees were of a high calibre. Learn more about the HQP activities at the 2021 Summit4CI.
The BioCanRx-Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Learning Institute was back for its fourth edition at Summit4CI. It brought together four patient/caregiver leaders (Patient Scholars) and four Highly Qualified Personnel (Academic Scholars) in a series of virtual interactive Knowledge Exchange Sessions with the purpose of teaching patients/caregivers about the emerging and innovative concepts in immune-oncology and providing HQP an opportunity to learn from patients and get feedback about their research. Each Patient Scholar was paired with an Academic Scholar and the pairs presented key takeaways in plain language of the scientific Summit talks during the Knowledge Exchange Sessions.
The Learning Institute participants also took part in the Patient-Researcher Roundtable – a workshop-style event where Patient Scholars and funded BioCanRx Investigators discussed actionable ways to involve patient partners in their research programs. The event was facilitated by Drs. Manoj Lalu and Justin Presseau, of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and included engagement by BioCanRx’s Cancer Stakeholder Alliance working group members. “With great discussions and conversation, the Learning Institute brings to light the importance of patient collaboration in research, as well as the translation of scientific information into plain language that is easily understood by all,” said Dr. Stéphanie Michaud, President and CEO of BioCanRx.
BioCanRx also held a Public Forum titled ‘Understanding Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trials in Canada: Are they Needed Now More than Ever?’ Speakers included a clinical trial doctor, a patient partner who has participated in a clinical trial and a scientist who spoke about the latest developments in immunotherapy cancer research and treatments. You can watch the forum here.
Many thanks to our Scientific Programming Committee and all our Summit4CI speakers, the HQP Working Group and our Learning Institute organizers. A big thank you to our 2021 sponsors and exhibitors – we could not hold the Summit without your strong support!
We hope you’ll save the date for next year’s Summit4CI! We’ll be meeting ‘in-person’ in Montreal at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel – November 19 – 21, 2022!