Session 10 –New Frontiers in Therapeutics
Date: 24 July (Friday) 09:00 – 10:30 (GMT+8)
Venue: 701EF, 7F, TaiNEX2 / Online event platform
John Yu is the Distinguished Chair Professor/Director, Institute of Stem Cell/Translational Cancer Research, and Cell Therapy Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan. He is also Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at Institute of Cellular & Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, and was the Director for the same Institute (2002-2009). He is the founding President for Taiwan Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Yu was elected to serve in many ISSCR Committees USA, the Steering Committee of Asia-Pacific Stem Cell Network, and advisor for Stem Cell Biology, Kumamoto Univ. He was Director of Exp. Hematology (1998-2002) at Scripps Research Institute, USA. He received an Established Investigatorship Award from American Heart Assoc. and many other awards.
Speech title & Synopsis
Recent progress in the identification of new cancer targets has widened the scope of anti-cancer therapeutics from conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy to molecularly targeted
drugs. However, without a “guiding missile” for targeted delivery, many of such anti-cancer therapeutics lead to damage of normal tissues that patients find hard to tolerate. Ideally,
therapeutics carrying payloads of drugs equipped with cancer targeting peptides (CTPs) as “guided missiles” should enable targeted delivery to cancer cells. Using computer-aided methods and novel scoring algorithms, such as HotLig, for the rational design of cancer-targeting peptides, we had developed novel universal cancer targeting peptide platform technologies (FnCTP) for the production of “targeted’ therapeutics. Ideally, these CTPs can guide various types of therapeutics including immune cells to target many types of can cers. So far, these FnCTPs have been used to replace antibodies to generate immunotherapeutics such as bispecific antibodies and anticancer toxins. On the other hand, the recent advances in CAR T cell therapy, esp. the first ever FDA approval for CAR-T cell therapy for B cell ALL, have rekindled interest in CAR-NK cell therapy. Although adoptive NK cell therapy has been in clinical use since 1980’s with documented safety profile, clinical anti-tumor efficacy has not been robust. However, a variety of NK cells genetically engineered to express anti-cancer antibodies for targeting have shown promising anti-cancer activities and less severe side effects such as GVHD in preclinical studies. At CGMH, we have now set up a modern GTP facility for cell therapy. We have also generated a robust and efficient feeder-free new protocol for autologous NK culture and expansion without pre-sorting, which will also be suitable for chemical manipulation of NK cells for the generation of “targeted’ therapeutics in NK cell therapy.