This year’s meeting, like all the WIN Consortium Symposia before this one, I think it’s been a terrific meeting with some really outstanding special guest lectures. Then this year we decided to focus in particular on the work being done by the WIN member institutions. Based on yesterday morning’s plenary session this meeting will go down as the meeting of the two Jennifers because we had outstanding talks from both Jennifer Ligibel and Jennifer Doudna. Jennifer Ligibel talking about the importance of diet and lifestyle on cancer incidence and cancer outcomes and then Jennifer Doudna, of course one of the inventors of CRISPR CAS technology, really talking about the future of gene editing and its potential applications in cancer. So both gave outstanding talks and really got the symposium attendees quite excited.
We then heard updates on the major accomplishments of the WIN consortium itself over the past year. Important results published from the WINTHER trial, published in Nature Medicine this year, presenting the final study results and indicating quite clearly the value of adding transcriptomics to genomics as part of navigating patients towards therapy options.
Following that we heard an update from Benjamin Solomon on the current status of what we call the SPRING 01 trial, the first SPRING trial that’s studying a triple drug combination in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer but in the first line setting where we’re really hoping through that trial to validate the utility of the SIMS algorithm, one of the predictive algorithms developed by the WIN Consortium, because we are hoping then to be able to use that in the future in studies to select optimal therapy regimens for particular patients. So that’s quite a pivotal trial for us, it has been going well, we’re moving into an expansion cohort in the phase I portion of the study and then hopefully we’ll continue from there.
The rest of the meeting really featured a terrific range of different types of work from the WIN member institutions. We heard some outstanding basic science research, discovery of new targets, developing new drugs. I was particularly interested myself in the second morning session today on the second day of the meeting that really addressed how different WIN member institutions in different parts of the world are helping to implement precision medicine in their countries. So we heard from WIN members in China, in Japan, in India, in France and all of them are taking approaches that share common features but all of them are also uniquely adapting those approaches to their healthcare systems and to the needs of their populations. There’s a lot to be learned from sharing this information which, of course, is one of the goals and one of the strengths of the WIN Consortium is to be able to bring this information together from all parts of the world.
The rest of the meeting just continues to feature the important and innovative work going on among the WIN member institutions, both the academic centres as well as some of the industry partners. So overall it was another really successful meeting.