PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

WORKSHOP A Tuesday, May 07

8:00 am - 11:00 am
A Simple Introduction To The Confusing World Of 3D Oncology Models
Workshop Leader: Elad Katz, Lead Biologist , University of Dundee

Advances in 3D cell culture, bioengineering and microtechnologies have contributed to the rapid development of novel in vitro models that have the potential to enhance the relevance of human disease. This session will act a robust primer for the conference, exploring current state of the art, remaining challenges and future directions for these systems. Core topics to be discussed:

  • What are we modelling and what are we modelling for? [overview of motivations to modelling of tumours and how they are typically addressed]
  • Matrix: know your tissue of origin and model it [basics of extra-cellular matrix composition in tumours, current solutions and examples of physiologically relevant models and their fit in the required level of throughput]
  • How to complete the microenvironment [considerations in co-cultures modelling, with emphasis on contrasting immuno-oncology models in vitro and in vivo solutions

Elad Katz, Lead Biologist , University of Dundee

WORKSHOP B Tuesday, May 07

11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Designing Cancer-Microfluidic Models: Challenges & Considerations For Primary & Metastatic Tumors
Workshop Leader: Dik Van Gent, Professor , Erasmus MC Workshop Leader: Roger Kamm, Professor , MIT

Organs-on-chips have been heralded as the beginning of the end of animal studies. However, the reality is that whilst these systems hold promise in minimizing animal usage, several challenges remain both in the design and application. Microfluidic models are beginning to play a critical role to improving the prediction of organ toxicity liabilities, supporting mechanistic understandings and provide a basis for comparative toxicology betweennon-clinical test species and patients. But what degree  of complexity is sufficient? What components should be included or excluded when designing these models? Is there a way to ever miniaturize these models for industrial use?

This will explore common challenges in their design amongst how these models are enabling the recapitulation of both biology and disease mechanics more relevant to both primary and metastatic disease.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • An overview of 3D models in drug development &diagnostics
  • How tumour organoids and emerging stem cell models can be combined and applied to chips?
  • The key challenges facing the development of microfluidic systems and how to overcome them
  • Recent advances in the 3D technologies that are providing deeper insight into the process of cancer dissemination.
  • Platform design, utility, media and cell sourcing issues
  • Technologies to study the role of immune cells in disease control and progression

Dik Van Gent, Professor , Erasmus MC

Roger Kamm, Professor , MIT

WORKSHOP C Tuesday, May 07

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
3D Tumour Engineering to Recapitulate Microenvironment
Workshop Leader: Daniel Harrington, Assistant Professor , The University of Texas Health Science Center

The TME shapes disease progression and influences therapeutic response. Recapitulation of the interaction between the different cellular players, along with the extracellular matrix, is critical for understanding the mechanisms underlying disease progression and prediction of therapeutic response. 3D Models mimicking this crosstalk constitute a novel tool to study immune plasticity in the microenvironment and its role on chemotherapeutic and IO drugs.

This workshop will explore:

  • Considerations for the design of models to study the
  • ECM, stromal and immune cell interactions
  • Current state of the art for 3D TME models
  • How 3D systems can be leveraged for the drug discovery and evaluation process

Daniel Harrington, Assistant Professor , The University of Texas Health Science Center