Immune Monitor December 2016

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

The long sought after and hard won clinical value of immunotherapy is evident everywhere. It is seen by nurses, physicians, coordinators, patient advocates, research scientists and, most importantly, by patients and their families. The implications of these clinical successes are quite broad, and there has been a nationwide push to evaluate therapeutic strategies based on their overall value. Value must take into account measures beyond financial cost, including durable clinical outcomes, new side effects, and impact on patients’ quality of life. Although current value frameworks centered on cancer care have taken the first steps to address and lead the discussion on how we should determine the value of cancer treatment, current value models do not fully take into account the unique aspects of cancer immunotherapeutics. As a result, uncertainty remains as to the real benefits of this therapeutic modality.

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) was the first organization to initiate the important dialogue surrounding the value of cancer immunotherapy, led by Immediate Past President Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS. At the organization’s 30th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 2015, a symposium brought together experts including academic scientists and physicians, experts in healthcare coverage and policy, representatives from industry, and patient support representatives. Key aspects of the value proposition for cancer immunotherapy were discussed, including immune biomarker development, the cost of innovation and payor as well as patient perspectives on what constitutes “value.”

Building on the success of the 2015 symposium, a “Value of Cancer Immunotherapy Summit” was held as part of the SITC 31st Annual Meeting last month. Academic physicians, industry professionals, health economists, third-party payors and patients discussed critical issues, including evaluation of current value models in development; economic outcomes of cancer therapy; patient, payor and industry perspectives; and the value of predictive biomarkers. Extended panel discussions with audience participation helped to identify gaps in currently developing value models and provided suggestions for optimizing the value framework that specifically applies to the unique aspects of cancer immunotherapy.

SITC is uniquely positioned to lead the discussion on the value of cancer immunotherapy. As the only professional society dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the development, science and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy, SITC draws on the expertise of its membership, which includes representatives from academia, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, regulatory agencies and patient advocacy groups. SITC will continue this discussion to ensure that patients are able to understand, evaluate and access therapeutic options that offer them the best outcomes.

Your membership lends support to SITC’s efforts in advancing research, education and scientific exchange about cancer immunotherapy. Now is the time to renew your membership for 2017. If you are not a member, I strongly encourage you to join SITC – the world’s leading member-driven organization dedicated to professionals working in the cancer immunotherapy field. With a strong membership base, we can move closer to making cancer immunotherapy a standard of care and the word “cure” a reality.

Finally, on behalf of SITC, I would like to wish you a happy holiday season and thank those who volunteered their time to SITC this past year. Your dedication to the society and the field tangibly moves cancer immunotherapy towards greater impact for patients.



Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD

SITC President

sim-logo-v2.jpg Society


Connect-ConnectED(1).jpgSITC's new website is launching soon! On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 plan to visit Cancer Immunotherapy CONNECT, powered by SITC, a one-of-a-kind online community-based website where SITC members can engage in scientific exchange through discussion boards and blog posts.

Coming in Spring 2017, Cancer Immunotherapy connectED, SITC’s adaptive online learning environment where live and online educational offerings, CME activities and a repository of cancer immunotherapy related content is hosted.



SITC has recently been welcomed as an organizational member of the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI). AACI’s membership comprises 96 leading cancer research centers in North America. AACI's membership roster includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated centers and academic-based cancer research programs that receive NCI support. This new partnership will provide a more formal mechanism for information sharing and strategic collaboration on education, policy and advocacy efforts for the field.




Fourth Immunotherapy of Cancer Conference (ITOC4) to Accept Late-Breaking Abstracts

Presented by the Cancer Drug Development Forum in collaboration with SITC

February 16, 2017 • Orlando, Florida
Practicing medical oncologists, surgical and radiation oncologists, urologists and other healthcare professionals will gain insights from leading experts on recent advances in immunotherapy for patients with advanced bladder cancer. Registration is now open for this satellite symposium, which will be held adjunct to the 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium on Oncologists and Urologists. Register now.


ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium

February 23-25, 2017 • Orlando, Florida
Plan to attend the ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium – a joint-effort event designed to share the latest clinical research in immuno-oncology. This new meeting will address the need for clinical education in a field where all aspects of care are fundamentally different from traditional therapies. The hotel reservation and early registration deadline for this three day meeting is January 18, 2017. SITC members receive discounted registration rates. Register now.


Fourth Immunotherapy of Cancer Conference (ITOC4) to Accept Late-Breaking Abstracts

Presented by the Cancer Drug Development Forum in collaboration with SITC

March 20-22, 2017 • Prague, Czech Republic
ITOC4 will provide scientists, clinicians and professionals in the pharmaceutical industry with the latest innovations in immunotherapy including combination therapy, immuno-monitoring and biomarker development. Late-breaking abstracts will be accepted from January 9 – February 15, 2017. Watch for further information to submit your abstract. Online registration is available through March 10, 2017. SITC members receive discounted registration rates. Register now.

Learn more about discounted registration rates by emailing

Not sure if you are current in your membership dues and qualify for discounted rates? Renew your membership or check your current membership status.


Forward Fund


Fellowship_IM_Graphic.jpgThe future of cancer immunotherapy is rooted in the research and education of talented early career scientists who together represent the future of cancer immunotherapy experts and innovators. SITC is pleased to announce three new fellowships coming in early 2017.

  • SITC-Merck Cancer Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer Clinical Fellowship Award
  • SITC’s Holbrook Kohrt, MD, PhD Cancer Immunotherapy Translational Memorial Fellowship Award
    Sponsored by Genentech
  • 2017 NCI Immunotherapy Fellowship
    Co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and SITC and made possible in part by an educational grant from EMD Serono

Stay tuned for more details on these exciting new fellowships coming soon at



FF-IM-Image.jpgDonate to the Forward Fund this holiday season and ensure a bright future for cancer immunotherapy. The Forward Fund advances scientific research, educational development and the basic, translational and clinical application of cancer immunotherapy. Learn how your holiday shopping can support SITC’s Forward Fund.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

Make the commitment to give today and the gift to the Forward Fund will be matched.



Amazon_Smile-IM.jpgConsider using AmazonSmile for your final shopping needs this holiday season. By shopping through the link to the AmazonSmile web portal provided below, 0.5% of money spent on eligible products in your Amazon cart will be donated to the Forward Fund. Follow this link and sign in using your current Amazon login, or create a new account.

Cure T-Shirt

Purchase a SITC 100% cotton preshrunk “Cure” t-shirt this holiday season by donating $25 or more to the Forward Fund.

Pledge Your Support

Honor a loved one, colleague or friend by making a named donation to the Forward Fund. Complete an online contribution or download our pledge form.



Donate $25 Now by Texting “SPARK” to 50555 & the Gift Will be Matched*

sparkathon-spark_1_.jpgSparkathon is an exciting opportunity for 30 early career professionals and emerging leaders to explore the critical hurdles that have stood in the way of cancer immunotherapy treatment for years. Top solution-focused proposals will be selected for implementation. Before this can happen, SITC needs your help to fire up the Sparkathon with your generous donation to the Forward Fund. Act now and the gift will be matched through SITC’s matching gift challenge. Learn more about Sparkathon.

*Text donations will appear on your mobile carrier statement from SITC. Text to donate not compatible with all carriers.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, donations made to SITC are tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent allowed by law.




Moonshot-IM-Logo.pngSITC members celebrate the recent passage of the landmark 21st Century Cures Act which will yield significant research funding for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative and precision medicine as well as regulatory reforms relating to the U.S. drug development process. Read the press release.

Leading up to the vote, SITC signed on to a Letter of Support for the 21st Century Cures Act to Senate and Congressional leaders as a part of NCCR, the advocacy arm of the National Coalition of Cancer Research. Read the full letter.



On December 7, SITC President Lisa Butterfield, PhD and SITC Policy Committee Chair Samir Khleif, MD shared basic information, research challenges and patient perspectives on immunotherapy with 25 bi-partisan Energy and Commerce senior health staff members on Capitol Hill. The education session was organized by EMD Serono.


Science, Research & Publications


CIG-Guidelines-IM_Graphic.jpgHot on the heels of the November publication of the first consensus guideline on immunotherapy treatment for renal cell carcinoma, the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) published two new disease-specific SITC consensus guidelines in December. The first, covering hematological malignancy, is a consensus statement on immunotherapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma, lymphoma and acute leukemia. The second provides expert recommendations on immunotherapy for the treatment of prostate carcinoma. The two new SITC immunotherapy guidelines extend the reach of experts in these disease areas beyond their own facilities to ensure that this important information reaches a wider audience. Read these and other articles from the December JITC Digest.



More content from SITC 2016, including late-breaking abstracts and scientific highlights is now available online.



jitc-logo.jpgSITC's online, peer-reviewed, open access journal JITC, continues to build momentum. The journal is now indexed in six major indexing sources and is becoming the premier global journal in the cancer immunotherapy space. In appreciation of member contributions to JITC, SITC will continue to waive article processing charges for members 
(a $2500 savings) for all manuscripts submitted through 2017. Renew your membership or check your current membership status.



SITC continues to be the principal society focused on the basic, clinical and translational application, educational development and scientific research in cancer immunotherapy. With new and exciting benefits coming in 2017, there has never been a better time to become a part of SITC’s growing membership with benefits that include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to the newly enhanced, fully categorized and searchable SITC Resource Library of enduring materials and CME activities
  • Increased opportunities for volunteerism and committee service
  • Meeting discounts
  • Free access to meeting slide decks and video recorded presentations
  • Access to online member directory to find and network with colleagues
  • Eligibility for funding opportunities