From artificial intelligence to innovative ways of identifying immune modulators—our scientists reflect on topics they found important at AACR this year.  

Last week’s American Association on Cancer Research meeting in Chicago showcased some of the most innovative breakthroughs in oncology research. As expected the advancing story of immuno-oncology was a big story, as were innovative tools that are helping to accelerate the speed of oncology and elucidate experimental findings.

Charles River presented 14 posters on topics as diverse as CRISPR/Cas9, microdialysis, 3D cultures, bioluminescence and a suite of flow cytometry-based assays that are helping to support the selection of new compounds for in vivo studies.

There was a lot to absorb at AACR 2018, but here are a few highlights posters, talks and exhibits that stuck with members of the Charles River team.

“There were some interesting scientific talks around innovative ways to find novel immune modulators, “a black box” of immune therapies for otherwise resistant cancers. One group has created >100,000 unique somatic loss-of-function mutations in melanoma cells using CRISPR-cas-9 library to determine genes essential for effector CD8+ T cell response”.

—Vivek Mahajan, PhD, Research Scientist-I, Charles River

“Co-culture of primary human T cells and cancer cell lines. The ability to visualize and assess the T cell mediated cytotoxicity in 3D spheroid culture is dramatically increasing our understanding of mechanisms and improving our prediction of compound efficacy in vivo.”

—Martin O’Rourke, PhD, Senior Director, Oncology In Vitro Biosciences, Charles River

“I was excited to hear about an innovative cell-sorting technology that when cells come out they are viable and biologically intact enough so they still can be used for common applications, such as cell culture and adoptive transfer. This milder way of sorting, to me, is vastly better than current droplet generation methods, where cells come under enormous pressure and often are too stressed to be viable for further use.”

—Christoph Eberle, Dr. rer. nat, Principal Scientist II, Oncology, Charles River

“The use of humanized mouse tumor models as a tool to evaluate the efficacy of bispecific antibodies. A new trend is implanting human tumor xenografts or PDXs in super immune-deficient mice and engrafting them with T cells expanded and activated in vitro. Once enough T-cells are ready for engraftment these T-cells can rapidly engage in tumor recognition and anti-tumor activity when tumor-bearing animals are treated with the bispecific antibodies. These antibodies are exquisitely designed to recognize a particular antigen in the tumor cell as well as CD3 T-cells directing the killing of cancer cells.”

—Paula Miliani de Marval, PhD, Associate Research Director, Charles River Discovery

“It was really interesting seeing the progress of technology. A plenary talk [led by speakers from Google AI], showed how they used augmented reality to highlight suspected tumor on the slide (literally circle it in the display), so histologists can screen faster.”

—Chris Dowdy, PhD, Client and Scientific Portfolio Manager, Charles River

 

Review all 14 posters that Charles River presented during AACR 2018 by visiting our website, where you can also learn more about our oncology capabilitiesYou can also view Eureka’s full coverage of AACR 2018 here.