Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Minn’s research is focused on how cancers acquire treatment resistance and how resistance can be overcome. His lab has identified pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and interferon (IFN) pathways across multiple cancer types. In the context of cancer, these pathways orchestrate tumor progression, response to conventional or immunotherapies, and immunosuppression. The lab is investigating how PRR/IFN signaling is activated in cancer, both cell intrinsically and through the tumor microenvironment. These PRR/IFN pathways can be therapeutically exploited to modulate the immune system. One way is through activation of the DNA damage response. An overarching goal is to translate mechanistic findings to inform clinical trial design. Dr. Minn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his MD and PhD from the University of Chicago and his medical and post-doctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Overcoming Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Blockade
Although immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) for cancer can result in impressive responses, most solid tumors either do not respond or relapse. We will discuss two general strategies to improve ICB efficacy: 1) Discovery and targeting of resistance mechanisms, and 2) Activating pattern recognition receptors through radiation and damage-associated molecular patterns.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2018 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Recent advancements in engineering, molecular biology, imaging and machine learning are posed to revolutionize radiotherapy and improve the outcome in cancer patients. We will review the growing body of evidence on radiation technology development, imaging-based radiotherapy, prognostic biomarkers of radiosensitivity/radioresistance, and the benefits of combining immunooncology with radiotherapy.

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