3rd General Assembly Meeting
At the end of March 2018 all TREGeneration partners met once again for the annual consortium meeting, this time held at the coordinating institution, Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. Sadly for our guests, the promised Portuguese sunshine did not materialise for this trip and so umbrellas and return invites were on hand for all.
This year’s General Assembly was preceded by a one-day Flow Cytometry meeting, specifically aimed at staff directly responsible for collecting and analysing flow cytometry data at each site. This productive meeting resulted in a final decision on minimal common data collection, to include 52 immune monitoring parameters, aiming to strike a balance between excessive pre-selection of data and inclusion of superfluous data for subsequent grouped analyses.
TREGeneration Consortium 2018 (L-R) Ana Alho (IMM), Christine Voigt (Alacris), Laura Ward (IMM), Estefanía García Guerrero (SAS), Jerome Ritz (DFCI, SAB), Mario Arpinati (Seràgnoli), Frédéric Baron (CHU S-T), João Lacerda (coordinator, IMM), Marta García-Fiñana (UoL), Hans-Jörg Warnatz (MPIMG), Perta Hoffmann (UHREG), Matthias Edinger (UHREG), Paulo Pereira (IMM), Rita Azevedo (IMM), Caroline Ritacco (CHU S-T), Chris Cheyne (UoL).
The following day, clinical partners IMM (João Lacerda), UHREG (Matthias Edinger), CHU S-T (Frédéric Baron) and Seràgnoli (Mario Arpinati) first presented the status of their cGVHD trials (Work Packages 1, 2), all of which are now accruing at least at the first dose level, followed by discussion of how best to visually report clinical responses and resolution of specific issues encountered with the definition of Dose Limiting Toxicity across the different trials.
Regarding immunological monitoring of patient samples (Work Package 3) IMM team member Rita Azevedo presented the state-of-play for the multiplex analyses, including development of custom kits, preliminary results and sample selection. Delving deeper into molecular changes post Treg infusion, Hans-Jörg Warnatz (MPIMG, Work Package 4) displayed clonotype diversity data from patient samples analysed so far, showing that infused Tregs can be identified and tracked over long periods and preliminarily identifying critical timepoints for clonotype expansions. This was followed up with the introduction and explanation of a new 10X Genomics platform, which will replace a previously planned TCRA/B chain sequencing method and is ready for testing.
The consortium consequently spent a significant part of the meeting discussing how best to organise our clinical and immune monitoring data for the Multivariate Analysis to be conducted by Marta García-Fiñana’s team at UoL (Work Package 5), including formatting, standardising any remaining inconsistencies (e.g. exact measures for product release criteria) and putting measures in place to ensure robustness.
Despite snow storms in Boston hindering our plans, we were lucky enough to be able to receive Scientific Advisory Board member Prof. Jerome Ritz, who presented a very interesting overview of several ongoing cGVHD trials at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Stem Cell Institute, including Treg + IL-2 (Phase I) and IL-2 Intra-patient Dose Escalation (Phase I). The consortium gained interesting insight and ideas from functional studies and T cell receptor repertoire analyses already conducted in Boston. Prof. Ritz was also able to join our working dinner, advising on TREGeneration’s ongoing trials and cGVHD treatment in general.
At the end of the meeting, following discussion of dissemination and management strategies conducted by the project manager Laura Ward (IMM, Work Packages 6 and 7), we took a general vote and will shortly be submitting an amendment to hopefully add a new clinical partner to our team - watch this space!
2nd General Assembly Meeting
The 2nd TREGeneration General Assembly and Steering Committee meetings took place between March 25-26 2017 in Marseille, France, to coincide with the European Bone Marrow transplantation (EMBT) congress.
This year’s GA offered a fantastic platform for all aspects of the project to be discussed in depth, problems identified and solutions proposed and agreed upon. Day one covered the presentation of each scientific work package (WPs1-5), covering progress, hurdles and results to date. The consortium was particularly enthused to hear preliminary results from Dr. Hans-Jörg Warnatz, WP4 lead, on T-cell receptor phenotype comparison between different T-cell subtypes from patient samples collected so far.
We were lucky to be able to additionally host three external speakers. Dr. Sophie Paczesny (Indiana University) first shared her recent unpublished work investigating further novel biomarkers for GVHD. This was followed by Dr. David Gancberg, our assigned project officer from the European Commission (EC), who kindly presented an informative update on current Horizon 2020 projects and upcoming EC funding opportunities. Finally, Dr. Attilio Bondanza (San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan) presented his preclinical data from the exciting new field of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells.
Day two focused on project management and dissemination strategies (WP6-7), looking to the future of the consortium, including agreement upon and enforcement of key deadlines regarding patient recruitment and formation of a plan to better manage the project data which is now being generated. All in all, a successful meeting!
1st General Assembly Meeting
The TREGeneration consortium met in Regensburg, Germany on March 14-16, 2016 for their first meeting one year after the beginning of the project.
The Workpackage leaders took the opportuinty to report on the progress in their WPs, and the group made excellent use of their time together by discussing and finding solutions for a lot of important issues. The setting in the historic old town of Regensburg added a particular charm to the meeting, and everybody was very focused on further optimizing the collaboration in the project.
The meeting fit in seamlessly with the succeeding GvH/GvL symposium organized by the University Hospital of Regensburg, which many of the TREGeneration consortium members also attended.
In February 2015, the TREGeneration consortium met in Lisboa, Portugal for the project kick-off. Members of all the participating institutions and the EC sat together to discuss the upcoming work and agreed on the required procedures.
The meeting was hosted by the iMM Lisboa, the coordinating institution.