This year, NCARD researchers and students travelled to Lille, France to attend the 16th International Conference of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig) held on 26 – 28 June. iMig, co-founded by NCARD clinician-researcher Professor Bruce Robinson in 1991, is the only scientific society dedicated solely to the study of mesothelioma. Its conference unites scientists, physicians, health professionals and advocates to share their findings and experiences regarding mesothelioma. This year, the event was hosted by the French Cooperative Thoracic Intergroup.
Many of our team were featured speakers at iMig 2023. On the first day, current NCARD scientific director Professor Jenette Creaney presented a general review of genomics in mesothelioma, while former director Professor Anna Nowak chaired the second plenary session.
The second day of the conference saw more NCARD members give talks. Prof Nowak lectured on how receiving the iMig Young Investigator Award in 2002 changed the course of her career. In the afternoon workshop session, Dr Jonathan Chee gave two talks in the same workshop session. First, he presented PhD student Nicola Principe’s work on combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy to treat mesothelioma in mice. His second talk reviewed current and future immunotherapies for mesothelioma. Lastly, Dr Scott Fisher reported on the results of the mammoth six-year MexTAg Collaborative Cross mouse project, which explored the effect of host genetics on the latency and behaviour of mesothelioma.
On the last day of iMig, Jessica Boulter presented her PhD findings on how the immune response to mesothelioma is directed at only a small subset of neoantigens. Prof Robinson took part in the last lecture of the conference, a panel discussion about optimised management and future directions in pleural mesothelioma, with other experts in the field.
Special congratulations must go to Dr Kofi Stevens, who presented his research using targeted epigenetic editing to enhance the immune response to mesothelioma on the second day of the conference, and subsequently won an iMig 2023 Young Investigators Award!
In addition, NCARD team members had the opportunity to showcase their results in the form of scientific posters. There were eight posters featuring one or more NCARD scientists as investigators, with five of these posters having an NCARD researcher as the lead author.
We thank iMig and the French Cooperative Thoracic Intergroup for the opportunity to share our research on mesothelioma, and to learn from others in return. We look forward to the next iMig conference in 2025!