The Immune System, Inflammation, and Cancer Conference
- : Brisbane City QLD 4000
Why is it that our highly crafted immune system, which forms a defensive shield to protect our body and fight infections, can switch and become destructive? The answer may lie in inflammation. As research uncovers new links between the immune system, inflammation, and diseases, such as cancer, it’s essential that we, as health professionals, remain up-to-date on advances in modern medicine. Book your place at this conference and discuss:
- Why uncontrolled inflammation is a cause for concern
- Whether inflammation is linked to depression
- Digging up the dirt on being clean – appraising the hygiene hypothesis
- The ABCs of biomarkers, biosimilars, and biological agents
- CAR T-cells – driving changes in cancer treatment
- Rethinking the critically ill patient with cancer and much, much more …
Schedule Day One
8:30 REGISTRATION FOR DAY ONE
Welcome and Introduction
Dr Tony Kenna
Refresher of the Immune and Lymphatic System
The immune system is the core of our existence, and it is continuously combating various types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. How does a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs protect the body from infection? This introductory session will help you to refresh your understanding of the immune system. It includes:
- What are the essential components of the immune system?
- What is an immune response and how does the immune system respond?
- What are the different types of immunity?
- Why does a balance between an underactive or overactive immune system matter?
- What is the relationship between the lymphatic system and the immune system?
Professor Matt Sweet
Red Alert! All About Inflammation
Nurses may visualise inflammation as red, hot, and painful to touch tissue. However, inflammation can also be invisible. This session will look at the most up-to-date evidenced findings on inflammation. This includes:
- What is inflammation?
- What are the pros and cons of this immune response?
- Can inflammation be destructive if left unresolved?
- How is uncontrolled inflammation linked to disease and which ones?
10:45 MORNING TEA
Dr Marloes Dekker Nitert
The Human Microbiome and the Immune System
Recently gut flora has been found to play a vital role in immune health. While the gut’s primary function is to digest food, gut flora assists in protecting the body against the invasion of pathogens. This session will look at a relatively undefined link between the human microbiome and how it influences the immune system. Topics will include:
- How does gut flora protect us from pathogens?
- What is the role of the gut in immune health?
- What are the implications of the gut flora being disrupted?
- Digging up the dirt on being clean – what is the “hygiene hypothesis” and how does it relate to the gut?
Type I Diabetes - Discovering Why the Immune System Destructs
While there is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, ongoing research and modern technologies are constantly advancing. In this session, an overview of the autoimmune mechanisms known to cause type I diabetes will be discussed. Includes:
- What genetic factors predispose a person to type I diabetes?
- Are there common triggers that set off autoimmune events?
- What is the link between gut microbiome and type I diabetes?
- A look at treatments other than insulin - antigen-based therapy
- Update on current and future trials
1:00 LUNCH AND NETWORKING
The ABCs of Biomarkers, Biosimilars, and Biological agents
Immunotherapy focuses on using the body’s immune system to fight disorders, such as autoimmune conditions and certain cancers. This session will provide you with an update on the new frontiers of modern medicine. It will look at:
- Chemotherapy vs biotherapy - how do they differ?
- What is immunotherapy and when is it used?
- How is immunotherapy administered?
- Are there adverse effects associated with immunotherapy?
- How do you care for an individual receiving immunotherapy?
3:00 AFTERNOON TEA
Dr Treasure McGuire
The Clinical Nurse Detective - Methotrexate Toxicity
The potential for harm with any medication is a constant concern regardless of the administered drug. Methotrexate raises particular interest due to its potential to cause adverse outcomes. This session will look at Methotrexate toxicity and a relevant case study regarding medication safety. This includes:
- What is the pharmacokinetics of methotrexate?
- What adverse reactions can occur?
- How does toxicity present?
- Can toxicity be reversed?
4:30 CLOSE OF DAY ONE OF CONFERENCE
9:00 COMMENCEMENT OF DAY TWO
Is Inflammation Linked to Depression?
The evidence is growing to suggest a link between mental illnesses, such as depression, and ongoing low-grade inflammation in the body. This theory recognised depression as a psychoneuroimmunological disorder and can help to explain why reducing chronic inflammation in the body may help to improve or even prevent depression. This session will look at:
- What is the link between chronic inflammation and mental illnesses, such as depression?
- Can anti-inflammatory agents treat depression?
Weighing up the Facts - Anti-Inflammatory Dietary Approaches
An anti-inflammatory diet is considered to be an integrative approach to averting some types of diseases. This session will explore the ideas linking diet and inflammation, and whether nutrition can reduce it. Topics include:
- How are diet and exercise related to inflammation?
- Can these interventions reduce inflammation?
- What foods/diets are evidenced to be pro-inflammatory?
10:45 MORNING TEA
Professor Rajiv Khanna
CAR T-Cells - Driving Changes in Cancer Treatment?
CAR T-cells are considered “The Fifth Pillar” of cancer treatment. This session will look further into CAR T-cell treatment and its ability to disarm and kill cancer cells. It includes:
- What is the role of CAR T-cells?
- How are they being used to treat certain malignancies?
Rethinking the Critically Ill Patient with Cancer
While new therapies are changing the world of cancer treatment, adverse immune reactions, and the ever-present possibility of infections are common and can result in an increasing wave of oncology emergencies. This session will explore these and consider how we may be able to combat them. This includes:
- What is a hyper-inflammatory response?
- What is a cytokine storm and what are the consequences?
- Are the sepsis guidelines for cancer patients different?
1:15 LUNCH AND NETWORKING
Caring for Patients with Autoimmune Diseases
Living with autoimmune diseases may be overwhelming and challenging. As nurses, we are there to support our patients in dealing with their symptoms. This session includes:
- What are flare-ups in autoimmune diseases?
- How can nurses help prevent and manage flare-ups?
- How can nurses empower patients with autoimmune diseases?
- Are there any advancements in the treatment of autoimmune diseases that nurses should be aware of?
3:00 AFTERNOON TEA
From Physical to Practical: Supportive Care in Cancer
Cancer is a life-changing diagnosis, and it is imperative that the patient receives supportive care during this difficult time. Supportive care, which encompasses everything from support groups to financial assistance, helps to promote the wellbeing of the patient with cancer, despite their diagnosis. This session includes the following topics:
- Different aspects of supportive care
- Developing individualised supportive care plans
- Assisting your patient in obtaining the appropriate supportive care
4:30 CLOSE OF CONFERENCE AND EVALUATIONS
The Goal Need for Program
More and more research continues to reveal the fascinating links between the immune system, inflammation, and diseases, such as cancer. The exciting evidence is rapidly being translated into new treatments of diseases. However, an abundance of unproven information and pseudoscience exists in this space. Therefore, it is essential that all health professionals, and particularly nurses, are provided with opportunities to access evidence-based content if health outcomes and health literacy are to remain high.
Purpose of Program
To update health professionals on the emerging conditions associated with the immune system and its response to chronic inflammation and cancer so as to improve health outcomes.
Your learning outcomes:
Appraise various sources of information that relate to inflammation so your knowledge reflects best-available evidence
Provide correct information and education to people in your care, to enhance patient health literacy and adherence to treatment
Promote evidence-based preventative actions for people with health risks to enable them to avoid illness
Identify potential triggers and initiate early interventions to prevent infections in people undergoing novel cancer therapies
Linda Bradbury is a Nurse Practitioner: rheumatology. Linda completed her general nurse training in London. After working in general medicine, ... Read More
Dr Tony Kenna is a cellular immunologist and a senior research fellow at the Queensland University of Technology. His research ... Read More
Professor Matt Sweet is an immunologist and cell biologist at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at the University of ... Read More
Marloes Dekker Nitert
Dr Marloes Dekker Nitert is a senior research fellow at The University of Queensland. Marloes is a biomedical researcher with ... Read More
Dr Treasure McGuire is a medicines information pharmacist, pharmacologist, educator, and researcher. As assistant director of pharmacy, Mater Health Services, ...Read More
Professor Rajiv Khanna is a senior scientist for the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. ... Read More
Lauren James is a dietitian for Eat Smart Nutrition Consultants. She has been a dietitian for over nine years, working ... Read More
Amanda Fryer has been working in diabetes education for 20 years and has been credentialled since 2000. From establishing the ...Read More
To Be Determined