Life Sciences lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.
In this lecture, Arnold Levine will discuss how recent studies have illuminated a great deal about the human immune system and its complexities. Methods for sequencing T cell receptors and quantifying their diversity have been developed. Antigens recognized by these T cell receptors can be identified by matching amino acid sequences to mutations in the DNA sequences of cancers and the microbiome. Algorithms are being developed to identify responders and non-responders, identify tumor antigens and explore the vitality and functionality of the immune system.
In this lecture, Dr. Charles Sawyers will discuss this important area of research using prostate cancer as an example. Recent evidence, for instance, suggests that while more potent inhibitors deliver superior clinical efficacy, they can lead to more diverse mechanisms for cancer cells to escape treatment. Prostate cancers treated with the drug enzalutamide can develop resistance through mutations in the androgen receptor, via bypass of the androgen receptor blockade by signaling through the glucocorticoid receptor, or by lineage plasticity. During lineage plasticity, androgen-dependent luminal epithelial cells undergo an identity change to more basal-like epithelial cells. The complexity underlying these adaptive responses to targeted therapy reinforces the importance of combination therapy to achieve long-term clinical benefit.