CITIM: 10-year Anniversary!


 April 29, 2019

 Conference opening ceremony                             14:00 – 14:30

 Conference opening 

Michael R. Shurin (Chair, CITIM Organizing Committee)

 Welcoming, greeting & greetings

Tinatin Chikovani, Chair, Local Organizing Committee

Giorgi Sharvashidze, Rector, Tbilisi State University

Zurab Vadachkoria, Rector, Tbilisi State Medical University

Amiran Gamkrelidze, Director General, National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia

Kakhaber Kordzaia, Rector, Caucasus International University

Giorgi Kvesitadze, President, Academy of Science of Georgia

 Welcome remarks and information

          Nunuka Mitskevich (Vice Chair, Local Organizing Committee)

Viktor Umansky (Vice Chair, CITIM Organizing Committee)


KEYNOTE LECTURE                                                            14:30 – 15:30

 Angus Daigleish

 The importance of immune modulation in the control of cancer: Is it possible to get the majority of patients to respond to Check point inhibitors?


PLENARY SESSION 1                                                          15:40 – 17:40

Immunity and the malignant process I

Isaac Witz (Tel Aviv, Israel)                                                  

The cross-talk between brain-metastasizing melanoma cells and microglia

 Serge Fuchs (Philadelphia, PA, USA)                                 

Proteolytic loss of type I interferon receptor in normal cells: the role in cancers

 Elena Voronov (Beer Sheva, Israel)                                    

Inhibition of IL-1β in combination with conventional chemotherapy improves the outcome of CRC treatment

 Paul Lehmann (Cleveland, OH, USA)                                 

The (tremendous) gap between the epitopes predicted, and those actually recognized by CD8 T cells


Special Presentation

 Amiran Gamkrelidze (Tbilisi, Georgia)                                

Magnitude of cancer morbidity in Georgia and strategy of response


 PLENARY SESSION 2                                                          18:00 – 19:30

Immunity and the malignant process II

 Catherine Sautes-Fridman (Paris, France)                        

Tertiary Lymphoid Structures in human cancers

 Nino Porakishvili (Tbilisi, Georgia and London, UK)          

CD180 as a stratification biomarker in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) 

 Adit Ben-Baruch (Tel Aviv, Israel)                                                                   

Insights to inflammation-driven mechanisms in breast cancer progression

 Yasmin Thanavala (Buffalo, NY, USA)                               

Augmentation of IFN-g+ CD8+ T cell responses correlates with survival of Hepatocellular Carcinoma patients


Welcome reception, Hotel Lobby                                 20:05 – 22:00


April 30, 2019

 Keynote Presentation                                                          8:10 – 8:55

 Licia Rivoltini (Milan, Italy)

Systemic myeloid-related immunosuppression in cancer patients and strategies to counteract it for recovery of immunosurveillance

PLENARY SESSION 3                                                          9:00 – 11:00

Regulatory pathways in the tumor immunoenvironment I

 Sven Brandau (Essen, Germany)                                                               

Tumor-associated neutrophils in murine models and cancer patients

 Jo Van Ginderachter (Brussels, Belgium)                                       

Heterogeneity of macrophages in the tumor microenvironment

 Dmitry I. Gabrilovich (Philadelphia, PA, USA)                   

Mechanisms regulating immune suppressive activity of myeloid-derived suppressor cells

 Wolf H. Fridman (Paris, France)                                          

T cells are important in controlling cancer outcome but what about B cells?


PLENARY SESSION 4                                                          11:20 – 12:20

Regulatory pathways in the tumor neuroenvironment

 Michael R. Shurin (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)                            

Does cancer get nervous?

 Nuray Erin (Antalya, Turkey)                                                

Role of sensory neurons, vagus nerve and neuroimmune pathways in breast cancer metastasis


PLENARY SESSION 5                                                          13:20 – 16:00

Regulatory pathways in the tumor immunoenvironment II

Zvi G. Fridlender (Jerusalem, Israel)                                   

Differential Neutrophil Extracellular Traps release (NETosis) in cancer-related neutrophil subpopulations - mechanisms and possible implications

 Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg (Salk Lake City, UT, USA) 

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC): Schizophrenic cells with multiple personalities

 Jonathan Weiss (Frederick, MD, USA)                                                                   

The metabolic regulation of myeloid cell function in homeostasis and disease

 Nathan Karin (Haifa, Israel)                                                  

The role of chemokines in shaping tumor microenvironment

 Natalia Aptsiauri (Granada, Spain)                                                             

HLA in tumor microenvironment and in tumor exosomes


POSTER SESSION                                                               15:30 – 17:50


  Tbilisi overview sightseeing tour for CITIM-2019 participants      18:00 – 20:00

May 1, 2019

Keynote Presentation                                                          8:10 – 8:55

Federico Garrido (Granada, Spain)

MHC and cancer immune escape: Looking back and looking ahead


 PLENARY SESSION 6                                                          9:00 – 10:50

Regulatory pathways in the tumor immunoenvironment III

 Ron Apte (Beer-Sheva, Israel)                                             

IL-1 neutralization and anti-tumor immunity

 Anahid Jewett (Los Angeles, CA, USA)                              

Super-charged NK cells for treatment of stem-like/poorly differentiated pancreatic and oral cancers; Journey from basic biology in humanized mice to human clinical trials

 Luca Vannucci (Prague, Czech Rep)                                                          

Morphology and immunity in transforming tissues: looking for the tumor niche

 Viktor Umansky (Heidelberg, Germany)                                         

Regulation of immunosuppression induced by MDSC in the tumor microenvironment


 PLENARY SESSION 7                                                          11:10 – 13:00

Cancer immunotherapy I: New concepts

 Tinatin Chikovani (Tbilisi, Georgia)                                     

Destruction of tumor microenvironment as tool for cancer immunotherapy

 Udo Gaipl (Erlangen, Germany)                                          

Immune biological rationale for the design of radioimmunotherapies

 Yulia Nefedova (Philadelphia, PA, USA)                                                                 

Regulation of tumor cell survival in the bone marrow microenvironment

 Gurkamal S. Chatta (Buffalo, NY, USA)                                                      

Chemokine modulation in prostate cancer

PLENARY SESSION 8                                                          14:00 – 15:50

Cancer immunotherapy II: New targets and models

 Nona Janikashvili (Tbilisi, Georgia)                                    

Bringing the human monocyte-derived suppressor cells in immunotherapy for leukemia

 Angel Porgador (Beer Sheva, Israel)                                  

Refining immune checkpoints for Natural Killer immunity

 Rolf Kiessling (Stockholm, Sweden)                                   

Predicting and counteracting tumor induced immune suppression

 Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko (Philadelphia, PA, USA)       

Co-transcriptional and post-translational regulation of epitope presentation


PLENARY SESSION 9 Selected presentations                   16:10 – 17:10

 Moshe Elkabets (Beer Sheva, Israel)

The role of immunomodulators in responsiveness to Trametinib, a MEK1/2 inhibitor, in head and neck cancer

 Janko Kos  (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

The interplay between monocytes, cancer stem cells and differentiated cancer cells defines the cytotoxicity of NK cells

Gulnur K. Zakiryanova (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

Reduced expression of oncogenes in NK cells in patients with cancer

 Tetyana Yevsa (Hannover, Germany)

Attenuated Listeria monocytogenes as a promising preventive- and treatment vaccine candidate in hepatobiliary cancer


PLENARY SESSION 10                                                        17:15 – 19:10

Cancer immunotherapy III: Novel approaches and perspectives

Graham Pawelec (Tübingen, Germany)                              

Aging and the human immune system in the era of immunomodulatory antibody therapy for cancer: Is it all downhill?

 Georgi Guruli (Richmond, VA, USA)                                               

Combination of epigenetic modification and immunomodulation in cancer therapy

 Anil Shanker (Nashville, TN)                                               

Preventing cancer development and escape: Role of lymphocyte interplay

 Arthur Hurwitz (Lexington, MA, USA)                                                         

Novel discovery approaches for cell therapy


May 2, 2019

 Keynote Presentation                                                          8:10 – 8:55

 Michal Baniyash (Jerusalem, Israel)

Myeloid derived suppressor cells as multi-tasking sensors and orchestrators of divers’ outcomes during chronic inflammatory disorders 

PLENARY SESSION 11                                                        9:00 – 11:00

Cancer immunotherapy IV: Novel vaccines

 Sjoerd H. Van der Burg (Leiden, Netherlands)                   

Combination of checkpoint inhibition and vaccines for cancer therapy

 Benoît J. Van den Eynde (Brussels, Belgium)                    

Cancer vaccines based on viral vectors encoding MAGE-type antigens

 John Castle (Lexington, MA, USA)                                      

Neoantigen identification for cancer immunotherapy

 Flavio Salazar Onfray (Santiago, Chile)                              

Immunological aspects of tumor cell lysates-based vaccines

PLENARY SESSION 12                                                        11:20 – 13:10

Cancer immunotherapy V: New approaches in diagnosis and immunomonitoring

 Manana Javey (Sunnyvale, CA, USA)                                 

PD-L1 protein expression assessment on circulating tumor cells isolated from non-small cell lung cancer patients

 Regina Mendrzyk (Tübingen, Germany)                             

Advanced cellular Immunomonitoring for personalized immunotherapeutic clinical trials

 Eitan Yefenof (Jerusalem, Israel)                                         

MicroRNAs in diagnosis and therapy of leukemia

 Per thor Straten (Herlev, Denmark)                                                            

The dual role of TAMs as oncogenes and immune suppressors


PLENARY SESSION 13   Best Abstract presentations        14:10 – 15:10


 PLENARY SESSION 14                                                        15:30 – 17:00

Cancer immunotherapy VI: New approaches and rationales

Yona Keisari (Tel Aviv, Israel)                                                          

Alpha particle-based brachytherapy can abolish solid malignant tumors and eliminate metastases by enforcing anti-tumor immunity

Peter Lydyard (London, UK)                                                            

Crosstalk between IgD and CD180 in the BCR

 Morten Orebo Holmström (Herlev, Denmark)                                                       

Spontaneous T cell responses against a shared neo-antigen in hematological malignancies



 Natalia AptsiauriSummary and Introduction to CITIM-2021


  Banquet                                19:00 – 22:00 (or 23:00…)