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Ticking Boxes

With the advent of novel immuno-therapeutic approaches to cancer, the world has entered a new stage of medicine. Rather than targeting cancer cells directly with traditional tools like chemotherapy or radiation, immunotherapy seeks ways to use the body’s own immune system to eradicate or inhibit the growth of cancers.

The field of immuno-oncology (IO) focuses on determining how to activate pre-existing immune cells to attack cancerous targets. Monoclonal antibody therapies have shown to be successful in many indications and continue to be an effective and viable approach to treating cancer. According to Beth Kiernan, pharmaceutical research analyst at Thomson Reuters, therapeutic cancer vaccines currently comprise 14% of IO clinical trials (1). Although many vaccine trials are in early stages, advancement has been made into later stages, showing potential for desirable outcomes using this strategy.

Perhaps the most groundbreaking and rapidly expanding modality of IO is the development of the utilisation of checkpoint inhibitors. Though the industry is just scratching the surface of its promise, checkpoint inhibitors have profound implications on the future of oncological therapies, revolutionising the research industry. Checkpoint inhibitor therapies are able to span across cancer types and stages, providing hope even in the most despairing of circumstances.


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Elizabeth Koury is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at LabConnect. She is responsible for leading a team of scientists, sample management professionals, and contract managers strategically supporting clients within the pharma industry. Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s in biology/allied health from Elizabethtown College, US, and a master’s in pharmaceutical chemistry from Lehigh University, US. She has more than 20 years of experience in conducting and overseeing scientific research in the areas of neuroscience, oncology, and immunology.

Jeff Mayhew is Chief Development Officer at LabConnect. As one of the founding partners in 2002, he has three decades of operations and business development experience within the healthcare industry. Before starting LabConnect, Jeff was founder and Director of Nexus Health Management International, where he was involved in the development of inpatient behavioural health services in Southeast Asia. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Strategic Alliance Development for Charter Behavioural Health Systems, among other key leadership positions.
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Elizabeth Koury
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Jeff Mayhew
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