Thank you very much for your letter dated 24th July 2015 offering funding towards my attendance at the Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference in New York, USA.

The conference was extremely well attended with 1400 delegates and another 300 on a reserve-list waiting for cancellations. This reflects the enormous groundswell of interest in immunotherapies as anti-cancer therapies. The conference concentrated on three types of immunotherapies: vaccines and immune checkpoint inhibitors both of which my lab is trialling in animal models of glioma, and chimeric antigen receptor modified T cells. Of specific interest to the on-going research in my lab were the insights gained from different strategies that combined immunotherapies with standard chemotherapy, the different types of neo-antigens, and the relationship between mutagen-driven disease and immunogenicity. Also of interest was the development of a prognostic classifier for cancer, called the Immunoscore which is based on immunohistochemical staining for immune cell markers. The knowledge gained in all of these areas will be incorporated into our glioma immunotherapy research program. In addition, I attended a breakfast with the editors of three immunology journals where I gained insights into the manuscript review process for each journal, and a lunchtime roundtable discussion on the regulatory landscape and issues for personalised versus off-the-shelf immunotherapies.

As requested, I live-tweeted general conference highlights of interest (#cicon15) to the Mark Hughes Foundation as well as presentation summaries to the scientific community. In a summary of the twitter-feed from the conference, I was listed as the top 4th influencer by mentions on twitter and through re-tweeting, Mark Hughes Foundation was listed as equal top 4th influencer by mentions and 2nd by tweets.

Thank you again to the Mark Hughes Foundation for the opportunity to attend what is now considered a landmark meeting in cancer immunotherapies.

Yours sincerely,
Vive Howell


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