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Immunotherapy: Harnessing the Weapon Within

13/11/2021 @ 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM PST


Immunotherapy: Harnessing the Weapon Within

In 1890, a bone surgeon by the name of William B. Coley was profoundly moved by the loss of a 17-year old patient (Bessie Dashiell) to bone cancer and endeavored to find an effective treatment for the disease. Amidst reviewing hospital records, Coley learned of a patient with a similar disease who recovered after (dramatic pause…) coming down with an infection.

“Say what now?”

Yes… Coley (after verifying that wasn’t a singular case) went on to treat malignant tumors with injections that induced infections. While he was successful in some cases, an explanation for the positive outcomes wasn’t available at the time. Today, we understand that components of the toxins Coley used tuned his patients’ immune systems, stimulating responses that lead to tumor regression. The understanding of our innate defense system’s potential in fighting cancer has instigated the development of a marvelous form of treatment – immunotherapy.

In this presentation I aim to introduce the principles that underlie immunotherapy, discuss various forms of the treatment like immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) and dendritic cell vaccines, and explain the challenges involved in harnessing our immune systems in the war against cancer



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9:00 PM - 10:00 PM PST




Jes Stannard

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