Boston Marriott Cambridge
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
28 June - 4 July 2019
Special Events
Welcome Reception
Date: Friday 28 June 2019
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Salons 1-3
All attendees are invited to relax, socialize, and enjoy refreshments. Please remember to wear your conference registration badge. Dress is casual.

Thank you to our sponsors:


Saturday Poster Session
Date: Saturday 29 June 2019
Time: 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Location: Salons 1-3
Conference attendees are invited to attend the poster session on Saturday. Come view the posters, enjoy light refreshments, ask questions, and network with colleagues in your field. Authors of poster papers will be present to answer questions concerning their papers. Attendees are required to wear their conference registration badges to the poster sessions.

Poster Setup: Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Poster authors, view poster presentation guidelines and set-up instructions at http://spie.org/PDTPosterGuidelines.

Thank you to our Poster Session and Awards sponsors:


Sunday Poster Session
Date: Sunday 30 June 2019
Time: 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Location: Salons 1-3
Conference attendees are invited to attend the poster session on Sunday. Come view the posters, enjoy light refreshments, ask questions, and network with colleagues in your field. Authors of poster papers will be present to answer questions concerning their papers. Attendees are required to wear their conference registration badges to the poster sessions.

Poster Setup: Sunday 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Poster authors, view poster presentation guidelines and set-up instructions at http://spie.org/PDTPosterGuidelines.

Thank you to our Poster Session and Awards sponsors:


IPA Board Meeting and Dinner
Date: Sunday 30 June 2019
Time: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Concept


Business Meeting: 5:00 to 7:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 to 9:00 pm

Open to the Board of Directors and Officers of the IPA only.
Monday Plenary Session
Date: Monday 1 July 2019
Time: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Salon 4
8:30 AM - 9:15 AM: Re-engineering the tumor microenvironment to enhance cancer treatment: bench to bedside

Rakesh Jain, Ph.D.
Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology (Radiation Oncology)
Director, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (United States)

For four decades, our research has focused on one challenge: improving the delivery and efficacy of anti-cancer therapies. Working on the hypothesis that the abnormal tumor microenvironment fuels tumor progression and treatment resistance, we developed an array of novel imaging technologies and animal models as well as mathematical models to unravel the complex biology of tumors. Using these tools, we demonstrated that the blood and lymphatic vasculature, fibroblasts, immune cells and the extracellular matrix associated with tumors are abnormal, which together create a hostile biochemical and physical tumor microenvironment (e.g., hypoxia, high interstitial fluid pressure, high solid stress). Our work also revealed how these abnormalities fuel tumor progression and metastasis, while preventing treatments from reaching and attacking tumor cells.

We next hypothesized that if we could reengineer the tumor microenvironment, we should be able to improve the treatment outcome. Indeed, we demonstrated that judicious use of antiangiogenic agents—originally designed to starve tumors—could transiently “normalize” the tumor vasculature, alleviate hypoxia, increase delivery of drugs and anti-tumor immune cells, and improve the outcome of radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy in a number of animal models. Moreover, our trials of antiangiogenics in brain and breast cancer patients supported this concept. They revealed that the patients whose tumor blood perfusion/oxygenation increased in response to anti-VEGF therapies survived longer than those whose blood perfusion/oxygenation did not increase. The normalization hypothesis also explained how anti-VEGF agents could improve vision in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, and opened doors to treating other non-malignant diseases harboring abnormal vasculature that afflict more than 500 million people worldwide [e.g., neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2), which can lead to deafness; tuberculosis; plaque rupture]. Our clinical finding led to the approval of bevacizumab for NF2 patients in UK in 2014.

In parallel, by imaging collagen and measuring diffusion and perfusion in tumors in vivo, we discovered that the tumor cells and the extracellular matrix compress blood vessels and impede drug delivery in desmoplastic tumors (e.g., pancreatic cancer, triple negative breast cancers). We subsequently discovered that angiotensin blockers – widely prescribed to control hypertension – are capable of “normalizing” the extracellular matrix, opening compressed tumor vessels, and improving the delivery and efficacy of molecular and nano-therapeutics. This finding offers new hope for improving treatment of highly fibrotic tumors and led to a successful phase II clinical trial at MGH on losartan and chemo-radiation therapy in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) (NCT01821729). This trial demonstrated that the addition of losartan to the standard of care led to an unprecedented R0 resection rate of 61% in locally advanced PDAC and significantly improved survival of these PDAC patients. This finding has led to a multi-institutional randomized trial. In my presentation I’ll also discuss how these two broad strategies – “vascular normalization” and “matrix normalization” – can improve the delivery and efficacy of various cancer therapies, including immunotherapy.

Rakesh K. Jain is the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Steele Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is widely known for uncovering physical and physiological barriers to the delivery and efficacy of molecular-, nano-, and immuno-therapeutics; developing innovative strategies to overcome these barriers; and then translating these strategies from bench to bedside. He is among the top 1% cited researchers in Clinical Medicine, a member of all three US National Academies – Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, and a recipient of the US National Medal of Science.

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM: Next-generation immune checkpoints: deciphering key roles in the TME

Catherine Sabatos-Peyton, Ph.D.
Director of Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Inc. (United States)

The clinical proof of concept that modulation of the immune system could lead to meaningful therapeutic benefit in cancer treatment was propelled into the public eye with the approval of anti-CTLA-4 immunotherapy ipilimumab in 2011 for unresectable or metastatic melanoma. A so-called “checkpoint inhibitor,” CTLA-4 is expressed on the surface of T cells and can be exploited by tumors to evade an anti-tumor immune response by turning off T cell proliferation and activation. Blockade of another checkpoint inhibitor, PD-1, or its ligand expressed on tumors called PD-L1, demonstrated higher response rates across multiple tumor indications with an improved safety profile. Interestingly, co-blockade of CTLA-4 and PD-1 has led to enhanced clinical benefit – with both greater response rates and durability – which has led to a new wave in combination immunotherapy, targeting next-generation checkpoint inhibitors as well as novel nodes of the suppressive tumor microenvironment.

Next-generation checkpoint inhibitors including TIM-3 and LAG-3 have broad expression profiles, and preclinical research reveals novel and critical mechanisms of action for these pathways. Translational data from clinical trials also informs understanding of novel mechanisms. Further next generation targets in development, including combinations of immunotherapy with standard of care chemotherapy and targeted therapy, and novel targets of suppressive molecules/pathways in the tumor microenvironment, will expand the repertoire of key immuno-modulatory agents to harness the anti-tumor immune response.

Catherine Sabatos-Peyton served as Director of Immunology at a biotech startup (CoStim Pharmaceuticals) developing therapeutic antibodies against checkpoint proteins for cancer treatment. CoStim was acquired by Novartis in February 2014, and Catherine has continued there, now as a Director in Exploratory Immuno-oncology, bringing cancer therapeutic treatments forward to the clinic. Her group focuses on preclinical and translational research, driving to understand the mechanism of action of current therapeutics while also working to establish novel therapies to overcome the suppressive tumor microenvironment.
Lunch Break and General Assembly
Date: Monday 1 July 2019
Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Salons 1-3
Enjoy a complimentary lunch, a time of conversation and networking with your colleagues, and hear from the IPA leadership.

Thank you to our lunch sponsors:

Tuesday Plenary Session
Date: Tuesday 2 July 2019
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Salon 4
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Photochemistry and the origin of life

Jack W. Szostak, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Professor of Genetics
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (United States)

To understand the origin of life on Earth, and to evaluate the potential for life on exoplanets, we must understand the pathways that lead from chemistry to biology. Recent experiments suggest that a chemically rich environment that provides the building blocks of membranes, nucleic acids and peptides, along with sources of chemical energy, could result in the emergence of replicating, evolving cells. Diverse photochemical processes are thought to have been important for the origin of life, from photochemical steps in prebiotic synthetic pathways, to the generation of useful forms of chemical energy, to the selection of the canonical nucleotides based on their photostability. I will discuss the many ways in which UV light may have influenced the origin of life.

Jack W. Szostak is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and the Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Szostak’s research on telomeres, the DNA at the ends of chromosomes, contributed to our current understanding of cancer and aging, and was recognized by the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Szostak’s current research interests are in the laboratory synthesis of artificial cells and the origin of life on the early Earth.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM: Antimicrobial PDT: progress and challenges at the IPA 2019 meeting?

Nicolas G. Loebel, Ondine Biomedical, Inc. (United States)
Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Date: Tuesday 2 July 2019
Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Location: 60 State Street, Longwood State Room
Enjoy an evening of networking, delicious Boston cuisine, and at the same time congratulate and celebrate with colleagues who are receiving awards. The dinner ticket must be purchased for $100 as you register for the conference. Guest tickets may also be purchased for accompanying persons by anyone who registers for the conference and is also purchasing a dinner ticket.

Directions to the Longwood venue will be available at the meeting.

Thank you to our sponsors:


Wednesday Plenary Session
Date: Wednesday 3 July 2019
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Salon 4
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Macromolecular targeting of cancer: challenges in science and translation



Daryl Drummond, Ph.D.
Head of Research, Senior Vice President, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (United States)

The focus of his research is in developing targeted nanotherapeutics for treating a wide range of solid tumors. He successfully developed novel platform technologies for targeting lipidic nanocarriers such as liposomes using a range of novel ligands, but most notably Fab’ or scFv antibody fragments. He has also developed platform technologies for dramatically improving the in vivo drug retention of difficult to stabilize small molecule drugs, and for systemic delivery of nucleic acids. Three of their nanotherapeutics have been studied in clinical trials, including an ErbB2-targeted liposomal doxorubicin which was evaluated in a Phase II study in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancers and a nanoliposomal formulation of irinotecan which was approved by both the EMA and FDA following promising results in a Phase III trial in gemcitabine-refractory pancreatic cancer. Onivyde is currently being studied in front line pancreatic cancer in combination with oxaliplatin and 5FU and in second line small cell lung cancer. A fourth antibody targeted lipososomal drug (MM-310) is currently being evaluated in a Phase I study in multiple EphA2 overexpressing solid tumors.

Daryl Drummond currently serves as the Head of Research and Senior Vice President of Discovery for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, where he oversees the discovery efforts for Merrimack’s Nanotherapeutics and Biologics-based therapeutics. Dr. Drummond received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Indiana University in 1997, with an emphasis on membrane biochemistry and biophysics, and later did a postdoc under the renowned father of lipid-based drug delivery systems, Demetrios Papahadjopoulos at UCSF and California Pacific Medical Ctr. Dr. Drummond was one of two principle inventors for many of Merrimack's nanotechnology-based drugs and platform technologies, most notably Onivyde, a highly stabilized liposomal formulation of irinotecan. He joined Merrimack in October of 2009 following the merger of Merrimack with Hermes Biosciences. Overall, Dr. Drummond has more than 25 years of experience in the research and development of advanced drug delivery systems, including four unique drugs that have been tested in various clinical trials, >40 issued patents or patent applications, and more than 65 peer reviewed publications focused on lipid-based nanotherapeutics.
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