Pauline de Goeje received NRS Travel Grant
Report of Keystone Symposium “Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy: Taking a Place in Mainstream Oncology”
I am a fourth year PhD candidate at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine in the Erasmus MC and my research entails immune monitoring of patients with thoracic malignancies (lung cancer and mesothelioma). With this research, I try to unravel the complex interplay between the tumor, the immune system and various treatments – both immunotherapies and non-immunological treatments - in clinical settings, to predict patient survival and response to treatment.
Thanks to the NRS Travel grant, I was able to attend the Keystone Symposium “Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy: Taking a Place in Mainstream Oncology”, 19-23 March in Whistler, Canada.
This conference was of excellent quality, and I was very inspired by all the presentations. Most interesting to me were the presentations of Ira Melman, who unraveled the downstream signaling of PD1, of Jim Allison, who made a very relevant direct comparison between α-CTLA4 and α-PD1 checkpoint inhibitor treatments and of Sandra Demaria, who discussed combined treatment of immunotherapy and radiotherapy – very related to one of my projects – which gave me important knowledge on this topic.
During the poster sessions, which were very well set up and interactive, I discussed my own work with fellow researchers, as well as the work of some others. I spoke with some researchers that work on very related projects, as well as researchers with different projects but overlapping interests for example in terms of laboratory techniques. These discussions are very valuable, as they usually are not addressed in publications.
Overall, the conference gave a great in depth insight in where the field of cancer immunology stands and which challenges we are currently facing. I have developed new ideas and insights to advance my own research. Therefore, I am very thankful to the NRS for giving me the opportunity to attend this great meeting.
Pauline de Goeje, PhD candidate at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Erasmus MC Rotterdam