SENS4, Session 12: Novel anti-cancer approaches

Paul Hallenbeck of Neotropix spoke about a promising new treatment for neuroendocrine cancers. Initial trials of the “Seneca Valley Virus” were conducted on patients with carcinoid cancer or small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that had failed to respond to standard therapies. Results were very good; they plan to start a phase 2b trial in a couple of months.

Adela Ben-Yakar talked about using lasers for the precise surgical removal of tumours. They are developing a femtosecond laser system that can both image and target individual cancer cells – a nice overview of this work has been published in Technology Review.

Cassian Yee spoke about treating cancer with adoptive T cell therapy. Briefly, it’s a personalized approach to cancer research that attacks tumours using the patient’s own T cells. T cells are extracted, modified in a number of different ways to improve their function, grown into a much larger population, and then finally re-infused back into the patient.

(For an index of coverage of all sessions, see here.)



  1. Not really sure. Maybe because you ‘adopt’ a bunch of T cells that were grown outside your body? …Anyone know the real answer?

  2. turritopsis is right- the word is used in contradistinction to vaccine therapy where the cells are elicited ‘in vivo’ or in the patient. in ‘adoptive’ T cell therapy, where the T cells are adoptively transferred to the patient, the isolation and expansion occur ‘ex vivo’ (or ‘in vitro’)

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