Speaker Profile

M.D., SVP, Translational Medicine, Adaptive Biotechnologies

Dr. Kirsch is a pediatric oncologist who spent over 20 years at the NCI as a basic researcher, attending physician, and, ultimately, Chief of the Genetics Branch within the Center for Cancer Research. The research interests of Dr. Kirsch have been focused on cancer specific genetic instability and cancer genetics. In 2005 Dr. Kirsch joined the biotech/pharma company, Amgen, as an Executive Director heading the Oncology Research group at Amgen Washington in Seattle. Dr. Kirsch currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Translational Medicine, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle, Washington and South San Francisco, California.


Immunosequencing in the Service of Immuno-oncology
Profiling the immune receptor repertoire in the normal and malignant tissues of individuals and populations is advancing our understanding of which patients are likely to respond or have responded to immunomodulatory agents. This talk will focus on the application of this technology to immunotherapy and highlight some of the ways that immune receptor profiling is being evaluated. The talk will briefly touch on the aspect of T-cell profiling which may provide insight and provocative data for identification of immunogenic targets of tumors.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Immunotherapy is proving to be an effective therapeutic approach in a variety of advanced and metastatic cancers. However, despite the clinical success of the first wave of checkpoint inhibitors, only a subset of unselected patients exhibits durable responses. Furthermore, the field is witnessing notable failures in Phase III trials when these drugs are tested in unselected or sub-optimally selected patient populations. Finally, preliminary data indicate that the combinations of these agents, although promising in certain settings, are associated with increased toxicity and cost. Therefore, the development and implementation of novel clinical-grade biomarkers able to guide the selection of agents with complementary mechanisms of action targeting multiple mechanisms of resistance and immune escape are required.

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