Confirmed speakers

Laurence Zitvogel, MD, PhD

During the lecture, Prof. Zitvogel will discuss the association between the gut microbiota and therapeutic effectiveness of alkylating agents, platinum salts, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Additionally, Prof. Zitvogel will cover the latest findings that support the diagnosis of dysbiosis in patients with cancer and the predictive gut biomarkers of sensitivity or resistance to PD-1 blockade. Finally, she will discuss the potential of developing and applying oncomicrobiotics in cancer therapies to increase/reinstate the immune tone of patients.

A Rewarding Career in Immuno-Oncology

Prof. Zitvogel has dedicated more than 20 years of her career to advancing the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy. She has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications and was named the First Female Immunologist in Europe in 2013 by Lab Times magazine, based on 7,598 citations for her 111 papers published between 2005 and 2011. Prof. Zitvogel is also a dedicated educator; throughout her career, she has directed the work of 28 graduate students and 39 postdoctoral fellows.

In addition to her professorship at the University of Paris Medical School, Prof. Zitvogel is the director of U1015 INSERM Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Laboratory at Institut Gustave Roussy and co-director of the Centre for Clinical Investigation in Biotherapies of Cancer.

Pioneering New Concepts in Cancer Immunology

At Institut Gustave Roussy, Prof. Zitvogel has established a well-recognized research program in tumor immunology and immunotherapy. Her past research accomplishments have served as the foundation for important advances in cancer immunology.

She pioneered the concept of immunogenic cell death—the idea that, depending on the upstream triggers, apoptosis can stimulate the innate immune system to initiate a cognate response against dead-cell antigens. Her team went on to demonstrate that the anticancer activity of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and tyrosine-kinase inhibitors is mediated, at least in part, by the immune system.

Her work on dendritic cells and innate effectors, such as the natural killer cells and natural killer T cells, has provided important insights about their role in tumor development and exome-based vaccine design. Her team successfully completed two clinical trials, a phase I trial on autologous dendritic cell–derived exomes in patients with stage IV melanoma, and a phase II trial in patients with non–small cell lung cancer using second-generation exomes derived from dendritic cells. This work has shown that exosomes, employed as a therapeutic intervention on the host immune system, may be of therapeutic value.

Her current research interests fall into three main categories: (1) studies of the procancer and anticancer inflammatory and immunological activity of the gut microbiota, (2) the application of monoclonal antibodies in personalized immunotherapy developed based on a patient’s unique tumor microenvironment, and (3) characterization and differentiation of tumor-invading natural killer cells.

Uncovering the Role of Gut Microbiota in Cancer Immunotherapy

Prof. Zitvogel’s latest research has focused on uncovering the role of gut microbiome composition in cancer immunotherapy.1-4 Her team recently revealed that certain constituents of gut microbiota may influence the efficacy and toxicity of cancer immunotherapy during the CTLA-4 checkpoint blockade.1,2 Specifically, Prof. Zitvogel and colleagues demonstrated that the therapeutic efficacy of anti–CTLA-4 antibodies is lost in mice treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics or in mice kept under germ-free conditions.2 This effect was observed in sarcomas, melanomas, and colon cancer. According to Prof. Zitvogel, these findings will likely introduce a new direction in immuno-oncology research focused on finding adjunctive antibiotics that may facilitate the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy by ensuring optimal microbiome composition.

Prof. Zitvogel has received numerous prestigious recognitions from the French government and French professional associations for her clinical research accomplishments in immuno-oncology. In 2000, she was awarded the Gustave Roussy Prize, followed by the Charles Oberling Prize in 2005 and the Gallet & Breton Prize in 2007. Since 2012, she has been a member of France’s National Academy of Medicine, Biology Division, and a permanent member of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences.  

Confirmed speakers so far:

Confirmed speaker
Alan Melcher, MD, PhD

Professor Alan Melcher graduated in medicine from the University of Oxford in 1989, and trained in Clinical Oncology (Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy) in Cardiff, London and Leeds.

Confirmed speaker
Caroline Robert, MD, PhD

Caroline Robert, M.D., Ph.D., is the Head of the Dermatology Unit at Gustave Roussy and co-director of the Melanoma Research Unit at INSERM 981 Paris-Sud University.

Confirmed speaker
Eric Vivier, DVM, PhD

Eric Vivier, DVM, PhD, is a professor of immunology at Aix-Marseille University, France. He graduated with the highest honors (silver medal) from the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort and received his doctoral degree in immunology from Paris XI University.

Eric Deutsch MD, PhD

Eric Deutsch, MD, PhD, full-Professor in Radiation Oncology at South-Paris University, head of the Inserm Unit 1030 « Molecular Radiology Laboratory » and Head of the Radiation Oncology Department in Villejuif, France.

Silvia C. Formenti, MD

During the past twelve years, Dr. Formenti has introduced a paradigm shift in radiation biology, by elucidating the role of ionizing radiation on the immune system, and demonstrating efficacy of combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy in solid tumors.

Confirmed speaker
Guido Kroemer, MD, PhD

His work has had far reaching implications for the comprehension, detection and therapeutic manipulation of cellular demise. His contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious Descartes Prize of the European Union, the Carus Medal of the German Academy of Sciences, the Grand Prix Mergier-Bourdeix of the French Academy of Sciences, the Lucien Dautrebande Prize of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, the Gallet & Breton Prize of the French Academy of Medicine and others.

Sandra Demaria, MD

Dr. Demaria is internationally known for her studies demonstrating the synergy of local radiation therapy with different immunotherapeutic agents in pre-clinical models of cancer. She was the first to show that radiotherapy can convert tumors unresponsive to immune checkpoint inhibitors into responsive ones, a finding being translated in several clinical trials at multiple institutions.

Confirmed speaker
Florent Ginhoux, PhD

As a postdoctoral fellow, Florent Ginhoux joined the Laboratory of Miriam Merad in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM), New York where he studied the ontogeny and the homeostasis of cutaneous dendritic cell populations, with a strong focus on Langerhans cells.

Confirmed speaker
Laurence Zitvogel, MD, PhD

During the lecture, Prof. Zitvogel will discuss the association between the gut microbiota and therapeutic effectiveness of alkylating agents, platinum salts, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Additionally, Prof. Zitvogel will cover the latest findings that support the diagnosis of dysbiosis in patients with cancer and the predictive gut biomarkers of sensitivity or resistance to PD-1 blockade.

Confirmed speaker
Lorenzo Galluzzi, PhD

Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medical College (2017), Lorenzo Galluzzi was a Junior Scientist of the Research Team “Apoptosis, Cancer and Immunity” at the Cordeliers Research Center (Paris, France; 2012-2016). Lorenzo Galluzzi did his post-doctoral training at the Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center (Villejuif, France; 2009-2011), after receiving his PhD from the Paris Sud University (Le Kremlin-Bicetre, France; 2005-2008).

Confirmed speaker
Jérôme Galon, MD, PhD

Dr. Galon was trained as an immunologist at the Pasteur Institute and at the Curie Institute (Paris, France). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Immunology (Jussieu University, Paris, France, 1996). Between 1997 and 2001 he worked at the NIH (National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA) on functional genomics, bioinformatics and immunology on fundamental and clinical research.

Confirmed speaker
Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD

In 1994 he moved to Seattle, WA where he worked on tumor immunology and immunotherapy, studying T cell ignorance of tumor antigens and the role of T cell costimulation in mouse models of cancer. His studies of that time on CD137-mediated co-stimulation of curative antitumor immune responses have received much attention by the immunotherapy of cancer community and have resulted in therapeutic agents undergoing phase II clinical trials.

Confirmed speaker
Udo Gaipl, MD, PhD

Since 2007 he heads the Radiation Immunobiology and is head of the Experimental Radiation Oncology of the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). Since 2015 he his Professor for Experimental Medicine and has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers on immune modulations by radiation and stressed cells.

Confirmed speaker
Vassili Soumelis, MD, PhD

His team combines expertise in immunology, computational biology, and medicine. Vassili Soumelis coordinated a European FP6 Excellence Grant (2005-2009), participated in a EuroTransbio project (2007-2009), coordinated bioinformatics and systems biology in the European consortium MAARS (FP7), and received ERC consolidator and proof-of-concept grants.

Confirmed speaker
Jean-Luc Perfettini, PhD

Jean-Luc PERFETTINI is currently developing an integrative research program in the field of radiation oncology that aims at characterizing ionizing radiations-induced cell death and senescence modalities, developing preclinical mouse models to study the immune responses elicited by anti-cancer treatments, and identifying innovative therapeutic approaches that could improve the effectiveness of anticancer treatments.

Confirmed speaker
Michele Mondini, PhD

Scientific and managing executive of an early stage biotech start-up. Lecturer in Clinical Diagnostic. Mentoring of students. Specialties: Research in the field of radiotherapy, immunotherapy and virology.

Confirmed speaker
Patrick Roth, MD

He has managed the Neurosurgery Residency Program at HUMC for nearly twenty years, served as a perennial teacher of third year medical students, and regularly mentors high school and college students interested in a career in medicine. He is currently attending the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where he will obtain a Masters in Healthcare Administration.

Confirmed speaker
Ruth J. Muschel, MD, PhD

She continued on staff at the NCI before taking an academic position at the University of Pennsylvania, where she advanced to the rank of Professor.

Confirmed speaker
Sergey Nikolaev, PhD

He worked as a postdoctorate researcher at the King’s College in London (UK), at SPINTEC in Grenoble (France), and at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba (Japan).

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