Immune Monitor March 2017

A Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

As I write this message on International Women’s Day, I am honored to contribute to the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) as its first female President, hopefully paving the way for future women in science to do the same. Choosing a career in science has been extremely rewarding, especially as a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute where women routinely serve as department chairs, program leaders and SPORE PIs.

My career path has not been without challenges – as my female colleagues would agree – navigating a male dominated field can be challenging at times. However, as more women progress through the field, there are more mentors from whom to learn, more formal leadership training sessions and more flexible work environments and tenure clocks. Observing a woman in a leadership position of any type sends a powerful message to women everywhere – next time it could be you.

As we all continue to move the field forward with our unique skills and talents, I encourage you to visit SITC's 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (November 8-12, 2017) microsite which is now live for society members to register and secure housing. In addition, the call for abstracts period is now open for everyone. This is a great opportunity to showcase your latest research at the largest conference solely focused on cancer immunotherapy. It is going to be another outstanding meeting!

Finally, SITC’s Call for Comment on the “Consensus Statement on Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Bladder Carcinoma.” In line with other publications in SITC’s Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines series, this Consensus Statement was developed by experts in the field and provides key indicators to help practicing oncologists determine when and how to use immunotherapy when treating patients with bladder cancer. Specifically, these guidelines focus on selecting patients for treatment, managing toxicities, determining clinical endpoints and guiding appropriate sequencing or combination of therapies in the setting of bladder cancer. We welcome participation from SITC members in the development of these guidelines. Provide your feedback on this important SITC initiative before the Open Comment period ends at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 20, 2017.



Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD

SITC President



March 31, 2017 • Washington, DC
SITC invites you to attend the consensus-building Toxicity Management Workshop from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. to address two pressing needs for the advancement of the field:

  1. Creating treatment algorithms for managing immunotherapy-related toxicities

  2. Developing standardized templates for adverse event management in protocols for clinical trials

The workshop will be a multi-stakeholder effort of 100 thought leaders from government, academia, industry, scientific organizations and other related entities. These stakeholders want to move quickly and convene to address the growing need for standardization to provide better treatments and ultimately, improve patient outcomes. Register today, as space is limited. Onsite registration is available, provided there is space.

The Toxicity Management Workshop is supported in part by grants from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co., Inc.

November 8-12, 2017 • National Harbor, MD

Call for Abstracts – Submit Now Through August 1, 2017

ACI_Logo-IM_Final.jpgSITC is now accepting regular abstracts and late-breaking abstract applications from members and nonmembers for the upcoming 32nd Annual Meeting. Introduce your research at SITC 2017 and present alongside luminaries in the cancer immunotherapy field. This year’s abstract submission period will close on August 1. Learn more and submit your abstract.

Did you know? SITC early career members who submit an abstract to SITC 2017 as both primary and presenting author are eligible for one of 32 SITC Young Investigator Awards.

Advance Registration & Housing – Open for SITC Members

New this year, SITC 2017 registration is required prior to reserving a room in the SITC hotel block. Advance registration is open to SITC members now! If you have not already done so, join SITC or renew your membership to take advantage of early registration and hotel accommodations. Register for SITC’s 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs. Registration and housing will open to the general public April 7, 2017.


American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Immunology Working Group Town Hall and Reception

Presented by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Immunology (CIMM) Working Group in collaboration with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

April 2, 2017 • Washington, DC
Held during the AACR Annual Meeting, this session will highlight recent research in immunology and immunotherapy. Program speakers include SITC President Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD and SITC member Marcus W. Bosenberg, MD, PhD. Learn more and register.

Immunotherapy Session at the 17th Pan Arab Cancer Congress

Presented by the Arab Medical Association Against Cancer and the Algerian Society of Medical Oncology in collaboration with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

April 21, 2017 • Algiers, Algeria
New this year, SITC is organizing an immunotherapy session in Algeria to provide oncology practitioners with an understanding of the mechanisms of action and current/emerging clinical applications of immunotherapy treatment methods. This session, held during the 17th Pan Arab Cancer Congress, will explore cancer management practices in 22 Arabic countries. Learn more and register.

Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) – San Francisco, CA

Presented by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer in collaboration with the American Academy of Emergency Physicians and the Association of Community Cancer Centers

ACI_Online-IM_Final.jpgMay 6, 2017 • San Francisco, CA
Register now for this introductory CME-, CNE- and CPE-certified series or share with your colleagues! The program provides oncologists, nurses, pharmacists, emergency physicians, and the entire cancer care team a greater understanding of the mechanisms and clinical application of cancer immunotherapies, the management of adverse events and strategies to overcome operational and financial barriers to implementing immunotherapy. SITC members receive discounted registration rates. Learn more and register.

The International Symposium on Immunotherapy

Presented by the Institute for Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy in collaboration with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

May 12-13, 2017 • London, England
The Institute for Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy – previously known as the Cancer Vaccine Institute – is hosting this symposium for researchers, academics and clinicians in immunotherapy, immunology and/or oncology. Leading immunotherapy experts will share their latest scientific findings on the opportunities and challenges that exist today in immunotherapy with an emphasis on combinations of chemotherapy and immunotherapy and various immunotherapy agents. Learn more and register.

Cancer Immunity & Immunotherapy

Presented by the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

June 14, 2017 • Chicago, IL
This course, held during the FOCIS Annual Meeting, will review tumor immunology as the foundation for the current practice of cancer immunotherapy emphasizing fundamental principles, recent clinical advances, current limitations, and opportunities for furthering clinical progress. Attendees may take this course in combination with FOCIS 2017 or attend the course only. SITC members receive discounted registration rates. Learn more and register.

Incorporating Radiation Oncology Into Immunotherapy

Presented by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in collaboration with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer

June 15-16, 2017 • Bethesda, MD

With the current surge in cancer immunotherapy use and the potential for identifying novel solutions to overcome immune suppressive barriers, the focus on how to best combine radiotherapy and cancer immunotherapy has never been more timely and important. This workshop will cover many of the questions surrounding promising new approaches including the best combination, sequencing, dosages, timing of radiation and the use of valuable biomarkers in immunotherapy. SITC members receive discounted registration rates. Learn more and register.

Email for more information on discounted registration rates.

Did you know? SITC members receive up to a 25% savings on registration rates to SITC’s Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) CME-, CNE- and CE-certified live education programs. Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.


ACI_Online-IM_Final.jpgDeveloped through a partnership with Medscape Oncology, SITC is pleased to offer a new CME- and CE-certified activity through the Clinical Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy portal titled Patient-Centered Care in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). Experience this recently released activity.

Did you know? You do not have to be a member to access and share SITC’s easy to understand Patient Cancer Resource Guide: Understanding Cancer Immunotherapy with patients and patient advocates. Read or download the latest edition for free.


Science, Research & Publications


CIG-Guidelines-IM_Graphic.jpgThe latest undertaking from SITC’s Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines initiative, “Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Consensus Statement on Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Bladder Carcinoma,” is nearing completion. We invite members to provide feedback on the draft version prior to submission to the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC). The 30 day Open Comment period will close at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 20. If you choose to provide comments, you will be prompted to login to your Cancer Immunotherapy CONNECT, Powered by SITC account to access the secure Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines – Bladder online community. Your input provides the authors with another prism through which to review their recommendations. SITC wants to hear your voice!

Did you know? Commenting during the development of the society’s Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines is a benefit exclusive to members. Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.


jitc-logo.jpgThis month, the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) published two papers focused on immune biomarkers. The first, a meeting report from the Immunotherapy Biomarkers 2016: Overcoming the Barriers symposium co-sponsored by SITC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), focuses on emerging immunotherapy biomarkers, new technologies, current hurdles to further progress and recommendations for advancing the field of biomarker development. This month also includes a report from Working Group 3 of the SITC Immune Biomarkers Task Force entitled, “Systematic evaluation of immune regulation and modulation.” Previous publications from the SITC Immune Biomarkers Task Force Working Group 1 (Volume I and Volume II) and Working Group 2 are available.


To continue serving the rapidly advancing field of cancer immunotherapy, SITC is hiring a full-time Medical Writer. The role can be fulfilled onsite in the Milwaukee, WI office; alternatively, a telecommuting arrangement will be considered for the right candidate. If you or someone you know is interested, view the full job description and apply or forward this information to a candidate in your network.

Did you know? SITC members from academic institutions save 25% on fees for posting to SITC’s Job Board on the Cancer Immunotherapy CONNECT, Powered by SITC community website. Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.


Policy & Advocacy


As part of the National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR), SITC recently joined 20 leading cancer organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders calling for the preservation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Read SITC’s Press Release. SITC members are encouraged to contact their legislators to voice concerns about how these cuts may impact their research and that of the broader field of oncology to Congress. Contact your Congress member.


SITC joined a coalition of melanoma patient groups and medical organizations to send a letter to Congressional leaders in opposition to a repeal of a 10% tax on indoor tanning. The tax repeal is included in the recent health care bill. Read the letter.


Forward Fund


CheckPoints2016.jpgJune 4, 2017 • Chicago, IL
Join SITC in Chicago to celebrate advancements in cancer immunotherapy at the world famous House of Blues. Guests will enjoy great hors d’oeuvres and music by SITC’s very own house band – The CheckPoints. All proceeds will benefit SITC’s Forward Fund.

This event sold out last year, so call today to reserve a VIP spot at (414)-271-2456 or email

Did you know? In just three years, the Forward Fund has raised more than $1,000,000 to support early career scientists. Be the spark for innovation with a gift to the Forward Fund.


sim-logo-v2.jpg Society


Connect-ConnectED(1).jpgCancer Immunotherapy CONNECT, Powered by SITC is the source and resource for all things related to cancer immunotherapy. Share your thoughts in one of the many trending discussions taking place in the Open Forum:

RE: How to Sequence Second-Line Therapy in Renal Clear-Cell Carcinoma

“...there are now many options for refractory metastatic RCC. They each have unique features which may make them more or less suitable for individual patients…”

Brian I. Rini, MD

Did you know? You don’t have to be a member to join SITC CONNECT and contribute to community discussions in the Open Forum. Create a free CONNECT account and be part of the conversation.




February 1-28, 2017

Thank you to those who joined the society in the month of February. If you are a SITC member, please welcome the following new members by sending a message of congratulations through the Cancer Immunotherapy CONNECT, Powered by SITC Member Directory:

Inhye Ahn, MD
Guillaume Alonso
Silvia Alvarez-Diaz, PhD
Jason D. Barbour, PhD
Felipe Bedoya, PhD
Rukmini Bhardwaj, PhD
Ryan Bushey, PhD
Barbara Castella, PhD
Sonia T. Chelbi, PhD
Luis Corrales, MD
Maria Angelica Cortez, PhD
Mads Daugaard, PhD
Bishoy Faltas, MD
Arnab Ghosh, MD, PhD
Tetsuya Hamaguchi, MD
Patti J. Henshel, NP
Shauna Higgins, MD
Emily Hopewell, PhD, MT
Kosuke Kawaguchi, MD
Yvette Latchman, PhD
Jianmei W. Leavenworth, PhD
Tehila Levy Talmi
Saman Maleki, PhD
Megan S. McAfee, PhD
Akil A. Merchant, MD
Meghan J. Mooradian, MD
Rosa M. Nadal Rios, PhD
Qiang Nai, Ohio, MD, PhD
Swathi Namburi, MD
Martha R. Neagu, MD, PhD
Jigarkumar Parikh, MD
Ellinor I.B. Peerschke, PhD
Scott Peterson, PhD
Annacarmen Petrizzo, PhD
Maud Plantinga, PhD
W. Thomas Purcell, III, MD
Seyed Alireza Rabi, MD, PhD
Mohammad Rahbari
Bernardo Leon Rapoport, MD
Joseph D. Rosenblatt, MD
Hélène Salmon, PhD
Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN, AOCNP
Maria Carmela Speranza, PhD
David E. Tacha
Melanie Tichet, PhD
Saad Z. Usmani, MD
Denisa Weinstein
Rose Ann Woodward
Christopher D. Zahm, PhD
Beth A. Zielinski-Habershaw, PhD


Did you know? SITC members who recruit colleagues to join the society using the Connect-a-Colleague Tool become eligible for SITC’s 2017 Connect-a-Colleague Top Referrer award and receive recognition among their peers at the Annual Meeting. Join SITC, renew your membership, or check your current membership status.