The clinical management of cancer is being revolutionized by agents that activate the immune system against the tumor. Nevertheless, many of these therapies benefit only to a minority of patients. In this context, radiotherapy is holding great promises as a means to complement immunotherapy in the management of malignant disorders. In particular, radiotherapy can generate an “in situ vaccination” effect that is at the foundation of optimal immune responses against cancer cells. Thus, the clinical potential of combining immunotherapy with radiotherapy is extraordinary.
Starting in September 2016, Weill Cornell Medicine and Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus have partnered to establish a joint yearly conference that gathers international experts to present cutting-edge findings spanning from basic to translational and clinical research on the subject of “Radiotherapy Immunotherapy Combinations”. The first meeting was held at Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus, and since then locations were alternated between Paris and New York City to best promote the field by facilitating international interactions and collaborations. The two-and-a-half-day conference will include a Continuing Medical Education activity, abstract and poster session, and over 35 speakers. Speakers from leading groups in the new field that combines radiation immunotherapy from European and North American institutions will present their data and discuss clinical translation opportunities. This meeting will provide a unique opportunity to cover major topics including basic immunological and radiobiological mechanisms, immunological biomarkers for patient selection, and innovative trial designs. Numerous prospects for brainstorming, learning, and networking will be available. The number of attendees has been growing steadily since the first edition of the meeting, witnessing a growing interest from a heterogeneous community of basic investigators, translational scientists, and clinicians.