BCI on the Road


An interview with Prof. Lisa Coussens, BCI sponsored speaker at NCRI 2103

on 12 November 2013.

Professor Nicholas Lemoine interviewed our sponsored speaker at this year's NCRI Conference in Liverpool.

Professor Lisa Coussens from the Knight Cancer Institute (Portland, USA) spoke to us after her plenary lecture, Inflammation and cancer: Reprogramming the immune microenvironment as an anti-cancer therapeutic strategy. Nick and Lisa discussed the current challenges and future prospects for immunotherapy for cancer.



About the Lecture

A prominent question in current cancer research is that of how the immune system interacts with cancer. Tumours are not only made up of tumour cells, but also (and in fact mostly) contain "normal" cells; the microenvironment. Are immune cells our friends or foes in malignancy? Are they both? But in which contexts, and why? Can we use this knowledge to our advantage and design new, effective therapies? Immunologists worldwide are continuing to find answers and further questions.

Lisa focussed on leukocytes in tumours; how they are brought to the tumour site, what their effect is on cancer cells and how this affects responses to therapies. Lisa's work has shown that different organs and tissues bring in immune cells in different ways, which changes the course of carcinogenesis. We saw that tumours release factors that bring in myeloid cells, which are "educated" by B cells and CD4+ T cells. However, CD8+ T cells will kill tumour cells, but only if the pro-tumour activity is lessened; immunotherapy might be successful.

For example, Rituximab (a neutralising antibody that depletes B cells, developed for lymphoma) has shown promising activity in some cancer models, which is encouraging given it is already available, tested and safe to use. 

The importance of macrophages in tumour progression to metastasis was also discussed; from studies of macrophage suppression and combination therapy tests in breast cancer models, with the cytokine IL-10 seeming to be important in CD8+ T cell regulation by macrophages.

Clinical trials of some of the immunotherapeutic strategies that Lisa presented are to begin soon.



BCI at the NCRI Conference, 3-6 November 2013

on 28 October 2013.

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BCI will be exhibiting at the 9th NCRI Conference, Liverpool, UK

3-6 November 2013

Come and see us at Stand 52 & 53

Please see below for details of BCI researchers' sessions, presentations and posters - with updates as we have them.

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Visit our facebook page for more photos from the NCRI.


Sunday 3 November


12:00-15:20: Registration, networking, refreshments, satellite meetings (set-up)

Monday 4 November

Plenary lecture (09.40-10.20)

Inflammation and cancer: Reprogramming the immune microenvironment as an anti-cancer therapeutic strategy 
Lisa M Coussens Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, USA
Sponsored by Barts Cancer Institute

Click here to see our video interview with Prof. Coussens

Profferred Paper Session: Biomarkers (14:30-16:00

Speakers: Dr Pedro Cutillas, Dr Dan Berney (see poster titles below)


Poster Session A

Congratulations to Abbie, who won the Hamilton-Fairley Young Investigator's poster award.

Evening: Drinks reception at BCI stand 52 & 53

Tuesday 5 November

Symposium (Room, 11.20-12.50)

Within-tumour diversity as a universal biomarker of prognosis
Trevor Graham
Hosted by Mel Greaves, ICR, London


Proffered paper session: The cancer cell and model systems II (14:30-16:00)

Speaker: Dr Sarah McClelland (see poster title below)


Poster Session B

  • LB110: Replication stress links structural and numerical cancer chromosomal instability
    Rebecca Burrell, Sarah McClelland, David Endesfelder, Petra Groth, Marie-Christine Weller, Nadeem Shaikh, Enric Domingo, Nnennaya Kanu, Sally Dewhurst, Eva Groonroos, Su Kit Chew, Andrew Rowan, Arne Schenk, Michal Scheffer, Michael Howell, Maik Kschischo, Axel Behrens, Thomas Helleday, Jiri Bartek, Ian Tomlinson



Highlights of the iwNHL conference

on 24 October 2013.


The International Workshop on Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was held in Dublin, September 20th–22nd. Our professors John Gribben and Bart Van Haesebroeck attended this important workshop for researchers in the Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma field; international leaders and experts gathered at the 11th annual meeting.

Some highlights were discussed by the Scientific Committee, moderated by Professor John Gribben (Co-Chair of the iwNHL 2013 conference) and uploaded for those of us who could not attend to get a feel for the proceedings. The panel includes:

Video highlights

Click here to visit the ecancertv website and view the discussions about day 1, including the subjects: pathology of the disease, T-Cell lymphomas, ATL, ALCL, ALK Kinase, sequencing of tumours, controversies in paediatric vs. adult BL & DLBCL ; Biology and Treatment of DLBCL; Update of BCR pathway, and WHO classifications for NHL.

Click here for day 2 highlights, on the following topics: virally driven lymphomas such as those caused by EBV (Epstein–Barr virus), Novel Lymphoma Targets, and the question of chemotherapy free treatment for indolent lymphomas.