The inaugural Phase 1 conference, “Where Science becomes Medicine” including a specific session on Advanced Therapies was held at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester city centre between 14th– 16th July 2019.

This three day event was fully subscribed and attended by 221 international delegates. Discussion centred on the early phase clinical trials which are undergoing a rapid evolution in oncology, with novel designs, new targets and increased response rates and was hosted by the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) network.

Featured in the conference were a series of videos on patient experiences with clinical trials. These short videos provided powerful, first-hand accounts of what being on a clinical trial is like, also the impact that cancer has on patients and their families.

Outside the keynote lectures there was a session on Advanced Therapies chaired by Professor Robert Hawkins (Immetacyte Ltd) and Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite (Christie NHS Foundation Trust), which included presentations from leading clinicians on the following topics:

  • “Developing stem cell gene therapies for childhood dementias”Professor Brian Bigger, (Chair in Cell and Gene Therapy, University of Manchester).
  • “CAR T cells and solid tumours: efficacy, toxicity and practicality”Dr Sophie Papa (King’s College London, UK).
  • “T cells engineered with MAGE-C2 TCR to treat patients with melanoma and head-and-neck cancer: a 2019 trial in Rotterdam”Dr Reno Debets (Erasmus Medical Centre, Netherlands).

A number of posters from the iMATCH nursing team were presented, stimulating interesting discussion with delegates.

As the Phase 1 conference was such a resounding success with the delegates and attendees, MCRC are already making plans for the next conference and how to build on the strong foundations created.

More information on the whole event can be found at: 

Specific enquires regarding advanced therapies can be directed to:

Fiona Thistlethwaite Phase 1

Fiona Thistlethwaite introduces advanced therapy session at Phase 1

Brian Bigger Phase 1 Sophia Papa Phase 1