The Sentinel

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SOCIETY FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY OF CANCER (SITC).

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

President's Message - October 2019

Dear Colleagues,

In one month, the SITC family will gather once again, in National Harbor, Md., to hear the latest research in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy as presented by many of the world’s foremost experts in the field. I am looking forward to welcoming you all to this reunion, our society’s 34th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2019). Regular abstract titles and author information were released on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and late-breaking abstract titles will be published on Nov. 1.

The complete SITC 2019 schedule continues to expand. There are so many reasons to attend; the latest advances in tumor immunobiology, state-of-the-art translational studies, results from early clinical trials, interactions with colleagues in government, academia, and industry, and of course, party with The CheckPoints. I’d like to highlight several recent additions to our annual event that will give you even more reasons to attend.

The first is a special session to focus on Lessons and Challenges from the Immunotherapy of Hematologic Malignancies: Informing the Next Generation of Cancer Immunotherapies. This is an exciting collaboration with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and will kick-off the 34th Annual Meeting proceedings on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, from 1-5 p.m. ET. We will also live stream the session to a global audience, inviting those to attend who cannot join us in National Harbor. I want to convey a special thank you to co-chairs, Katayoun Rezvani, MD, PhD (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), and John M. Timmerman, MD (University of California, Los Angeles), who will lead the discussions during the session. To learn more about the session and to register for this live webcast opportunity, please click here.

Another highly anticipated program is this year’s Hot Topic Symposium on the final day of the SITC Annual Meeting, “Patient Impact on Immune Responses.” Chaired by Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and Jennifer McQuade, MD, MS, MA, LAc (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), this symposium will explore the many factors that can impact a patient’s anti-tumor immune response, including body mass index, gender, genetics, the microbiome and diet. A greater understanding of these factors will further personalize and optimize immunotherapy approaches for all cancer patients.

With what I believe reflects the excitement and promise of our field for cancer patients and our society’s efforts to advance the field and support our members, membership in SITC continues to grow. More clinical and laboratory investigators, clinicians, industry professionals and others are joining the SITC family than ever before! For this success we thank our members, prior leaders of SITC and the outstanding SITC staff. Welcome to the world’s leading organization dedicated to cancer immunotherapy; we’re happy to have you in the family!

Nonmembers who haven’t yet registered for SITC 2019 can become a SITC member very quickly and easily during the registration process. The deadline to receive the discounted registration rate to attend SITC 2019 is quickly approaching (Oct. 9, 2019), and the housing reservation deadline follows on Oct. 14, 2019. I appreciate the hard work of our organizers, faculty and staff as they complete their final preparations to ensure SITC 2019 is our society’s greatest conference yet.

Please be sure to visit the SITC booth during the Annual Meeting to join SITC or renew your membership. Those who secure their membership through the next calendar year while attending SITC 2019 will receive a special gift from the society.

I look forward to seeing you all in National Harbor, Md., next month.

Sincerely,















Mario Sznol, MD
SITC President

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Reflections of SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Winter School

The following is a blog post authored by Andy Kah Ping Tay, PhD (Stanford University), a recipient of a 2019 SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Winter School Travel Award. In this blog, Dr. Tay describes his experience of attending the Winter School program, a comprehensive education program for early-to-mid-career scientists and clinicians. Click here to learn more about the 2020 SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Winter School scheduled for Jan. 13–17, 2020, in Houston, Texas.


By Andy Tay

A confidence booster

Trained as a biomedical engineer, I stumbled into cancer immunology research without much prior knowledge and continually worried that I might be too late going into this popular field. The SITC Winter School, however, changed my view. It provided me with sufficient knowledge on the basics of immunology and the clinical side of cell therapy. At the same time, there was appreciable amount of content on the industrial and technological aspects of immunotherapies. This arrangement was unique and helpful to the broad audience coming from academic institutions, clinics and industries. In fact, after the Winter School, I realized that despite the need for better assessment of cell quality for cancer immunotherapy, the current metrics to measure critical biological attribute are lacking. Building on this idea, I recently published an original article proposing a framework to rigorously assess cell quality after DNA delivery. The Winter School is a fertile ground to get new ideas to work on!

Immunotherapy for ALL

The SITC Winter School is also the first time where I met patient partners in a conference. It was a humbling experience because as a researcher, I hardly had any interaction with patients and yet, my technologies are meant to accelerate biomedicine for them. Through conversing with patient partners, I realized that there is insufficient information to educate patients about cancer immunotherapy as it is a relatively new therapy compared to chemo- and radio-therapies. This is especially true for children patients who are young and learn better through toys. Motivated by this, I went on to design a toy kit with the Stanford Design School to educate children aged 5-10 fighting cancer about immunotherapy (see figure below). I am extremely grateful that the SITC Winter School gave me an additional perspective about research which is that as researchers strive for biomedical breakthroughs, there should be sufficient communications with the larger society to explain what these breakthroughs will mean for them. 




Integrating into the SITC family

During the Winter School, I also got plenty of opportunities to learn about the various initiatives of SITC. One particularly useful take-away was an invitation to join the SITC Big Data and Data Sharing Task Force. Despite the promise of bioinformatics to improve cancer and immunological research, there is insufficient student trained in this area. Furthermore, the data that the community generates from analyses such as RNA transcriptomics are often under-utilized. The task force I am in aims to create training opportunities for students in computational cancer immunology, and to create workshops during conferences to introduce researchers to bioinformatics.

Whether you are looking to learn more about cancer immunology, or trying to find new ideas to work on, the SITC Winter School is a great platform for that!

Monday, September 16, 2019

President's Message - September 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to begin this month’s President’s Message honoring Stan Collender (1951-2019). Stan, an immunotherapy pioneer and advocate, was a cancer patient of past SITC President Michael B. Atkins, MD. Dr. Atkins first met Stan in 2012 when he presented with Merkel Cell Carcinoma. From there, they developed a close relationship as Stan courageously fought his disease with immunotherapy for many years. Their experience and efforts together taught us much about the impact and limitations of immunotherapy. Read more about Stan’s life and contributions to our field in the heartfelt memorial posted by Dr. Atkins to The Sentinel, SITC’s official blog.

As you know, breakthroughs in research and the advent of new cancer immunotherapy treatments this century spurred an explosion of interest and investment in our field. Through offerings like the Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) brings together the most accomplished and innovative researchers in the field to spark new collaborations and force consideration of new ideas that prompt discovery of new targets and approaches.

While the SITC Annual Meeting is perhaps our most important and visible effort to advance science and improve patient outcomes, many other SITC activities contribute to our core mission. SITC’s Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) regional education series is an example of how SITC leverages its member’s clinical and science expertise to inform patient care, particularly safe and effective treatment administration. At the other end of the spectrum of SITC programs, the society seeks to expand research and knowledge in our field through the professional development of early career scientists. Young investigators are the future of cancer immunotherapy research. SITC is investing in their future through a variety of programs that provide education and professional development and promote community and collaboration.

One of our most effective programs aimed at young investigators is the SITC Meet-the-Experts – an annual luncheon at the SITC Annual Meeting (Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at 12:05 p.m.) organized by the Early Career Scientist Committee that connects young investigators with leaders in the field. It has now grown to a year-round initiative featuring regular, free webinars. These online events focus on various topics that are pertinent to an early career scientist’s professional development. Most recently, Tullia Bruno, PhD (University of Pittsburgh), moderated our Aug. 22 webinar focused on Careers in Science Away from the Bench, which you can view on-demand here.

SITC will once again host a Cancer Immunotherapy Winter School on Jan. 13-17, 2020, at the Hilton Houston Post Oak in Houston, Texas. Led by program organizers Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD (Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy/University of California San Francisco), and Leisha A. Emens, MD, PhD (UPMC Hillman Cancer Center), this program provides intensive instruction on the core principles of tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. These programs also foster connections among peers which is critical component to their future success.

SITC also strengthens the support network for young scientists through the Professional Interest Communities. These digital discussion forums connect individuals of similar professional and personal backgrounds to share career development needs, address professional hurdles and more.

Beyond the basic education and professional development offered by SITC, SITC Fellowships provide funding to support the early careers of the most talented scientists. Supported through the Forward Fund, SITC has awarded more than $2 million in Fellowship Awards since 2014. Stay tuned later this year for information about 2020 SITC Fellowships.

SITC offers an affordable membership rate of $50 for students and scientists-in-training. Joining our society provides discounted access to vital SITC in-person programs and reduced fees on articles accepted to the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC). It also places young investigators in a professional network of the most influential basic scientists, translational researchers and clinicians in the field. Click here to become a SITC member and join the world’s leading organization dedicated solely to cancer immunotherapy research.

Finally, I would like to recognize and thank the countless number of women who organized, facilitated and attended SITC’s Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Network Leadership Institute in Seattle last month. This exciting new program from SITC, championed by immediate Past President Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD, was a rousing success. I look forward to seeing our society continue its effort to support, advance and celebrate the success of women in our field.

Sincerely,















Mario Sznol, MD
SITC President

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Tribute to Stan Collender: The Budget Guy, Immunotherapy Pioneer (Patient #1), Colleague and Friend (1951-2019)

By Michael B. Atkins, MD


Stan Collender was a man of many remarkable talents. Among his many achievements, he was widely recognized as one of the foremost authorities on the federal budget earning himself the moniker, “The Budget Guy,” and in 2012 receiving both the prestigious Howard Award for lifetime achievement in federal budgeting from the American Society for Public Administration and the James L. Blum Award from the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis. Stan was also my longstanding patient- an immunotherapy pioneer and an advocate whose experience and efforts taught us much about the impact and limitations of immunotherapy. Stan died May 3, 2019. Below is his cancer story from my perspective.

Stan Collender
I first met Stan in 2012 when he presented to my oncology practice status post resection of a Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) on the bridge of his nose. We reviewed his history and the pathology and recommended a wide local excision and a sentinel lymph node biopsy. On hearing this recommendation, he joked that he was a local television celebrity so needed to protect his looks. I assured him that the plastic surgeon was up to the challenge.

After the successful surgery, we followed Stan at regular intervals. About 1 year later we noted he had developed an enlarged neck lymph node. Upon hearing this news Stan became diaphoretic, pale and promptly fainted. While he was out cold lying on an exam table and then gradually regaining consciousness, I remember thinking, “this is not going to be easy.”  But I never anticipated the novel, groundbreaking twists and turns Stan’s case would take, nor the heroic role he would assume as a patient advocate, or that I would be writing this posthumous tribute to a man I came to admire and care deeply about as a courageous colleague and friend.

Despite Stan’s tremulous start, he was an absolute rock thereafter. He underwent lymph node dissection and post-operative radiation therapy without a hitch. He subsequently developed a solitary brain lesion, which was also resected and treated with adjuvant stereotactic radiation to the resection bed. Unfortunately he developed widespread systemic disease six months later. In weighing treatment options available at the time, I recommended he participate in a clinical trial involving a then experimental immunotherapy, pembrolizumab, that we’d had good experience with in patients with melanoma, but had yet to test in patients with MCC. He volunteered for the clinical trial without hesitation, despite it being conducted in Seattle. He was literally Patient # 1 - a pioneer- on this important Cancer Immunotherapy Network (CITN) trial led by Drs. Paul Nghiem and Shailender Bhatia. Every 3 weeks he flew from DC to Seattle to receive his experimental treatment.  The pembrolizumab worked well: after two years of treatment his disease there was no visible signs of residual disease on imaging studies- his disease was apparently gone.  Not only did this treatment help Stan, but based on the results of this groundbreaking clinical trial, pembrolizumab receive FDA approval and is now the standard of care for patients with treatment na├»ve advanced MCC, providing benefit to countless patients with this disease.

Stan embraced this treatment success and his new lease on life with his typical gusto. He wrote an OpEd in the New York Times where he described his clinical trial experience. Rejecting the concept of being a guinea pig, he wrote he felt more like Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier and going where no one else had gone before. He encouraged others to participate in clinical trials and became a leading spokesman and a tireless advocate for the immunotherapy, MCC and cancer clinical trials communities. Just like Chuck Yeager in aviation, in MCC and immunotherapy circles, he became a national hero.

With his cancer in remission, Stan and I moved beyond our traditional patient-physician relationship: we became collaborators and friends. When Stan joined the Georgetown faculty, teaching public relations and public policy classes, we officially became colleagues.  Over lunches we strategized on how we could best represent the value of immunotherapy relative to other cancer treatments, as well as how to encourage cancer clinical trials participation and more public private partnerships such as the CITN trial he’d participated in.

Stan was frequently in attendance when I gave educational briefings to Congressional staffers, and welcomed me singling him out as Patient #1 on the MCC CITN trial. We served together on SITC committees focusing on measuring the value of immunotherapy, where Stan’s personal experience and budget expertise were both unique and invaluable. When I received my endowed chair, I was honored to have Stan and his beloved wife Maura, join me at the dinner ceremony and celebration.

In 2017, Stan was invited to give the Keynote lecture at the annual American Association of Cancer Institute’s meeting in DC. He talked about his views of the upcoming federal budget and its potential impact on cancer research funding, but he also described his personal battle with cancer, his experience as a survivor, and thanked me publicly for having encouraged him to pursue the CITN trial. Sitting in the audience, I felt both like a proud teacher witnessing my prized pupil excel, and grateful to see him healthy and choosing to apply his experience, talent and renewed health to benefit others.

Over lunches, we talked about his potentially running for Congress in the Virginia 6th in 2018 and how wonderful it would be to have a vocal cancer survivor and immunotherapy and clinical research advocate in Congress. He ultimately withdrew this pursuit, but came to my house for a gathering of concerned voters in his ex-candidate’s capacity to discuss the race and promote the candidacy of Jennifer Wexton - who ultimately was elected to serve the district.

And so it went. Stan and I had developed a shared mission and fought together on several fronts for its success. I thought we’d be doing this together for the rest of our careers.

Then all hell broke loose. Stan was almost 2 years out from his last therapy, a time when we usually consider patients who have responded to immunotherapy to be cured. So it was a shock when he presented in December 2018 with hand weakness, headaches and difficulty swallowing and a head MRI which showed that his lateral ventricles were packed with tumor. I had never seen anything like this presentation before and had no idea that MCC could do this. His tumor had recurred exclusively in one of the few places where the immune system doesn’t reach.

The word spread like wildfire through the MCC and immunotherapy communities. It was devastating. The pioneer/ hero- MCC patient # 1 - had relapsed. I was once again thrust into action as his physician, proposing a variety of approaches all focused on trying to get his immune system re-activated and into his ventricles where the tumor was hiding. A lot of my proposed treatments were quite involved and associated with considerable risk, but Stan was always positive. He would respond to my carefully chosen words of encouragement such as,  “I hope this works” or “This could work” with an optimistic “It is going to work” and a courageous “Let’s do it!”  Although Maura was more attuned to the uncertainty in my recommendations, Stan’s optimism usually prevailed.

Ultimately, the tumor could not be controlled and we ran out of both treatment options and optimism. Maura and Stan decided to focus on comfort measures. Stan passed away peacefully at home on May 3rd, 2019.

At his memorial celebration a few weeks later, person after person spoke about how they knew Stan, each describing a unique contribution he had made during his remarkable careers in Government, public policy, public relations, as well as in intramural football and as a family man. Clearly Stan was a true “mensch” with his many interests, passions and strong commitment to both his family and the world around him. His impact on the MCC, immunotherapy and cancer clinical trials communities was profound and enduring. Even in death, Stan remains a teacher and an advocate: his cancer taught us about potential new obstacles to effective immune therapy and like Chuck Yeager, his legacy as “Patient Number 1” will undoubtedly inspire research efforts to overcome them. I will miss this remarkable man- rest in peace my friend.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

President's Message - August 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Since its creation in 1984, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) has steadfastly pursued its goals to advance the science and application of tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other authorities around the world, have approved use of numerous immunotherapy treatments in recent years for a variety of cancers, education of the patient care team has become one of the most critical initiatives of our society.

To achieve its educational goals, SITC and its members have developed state-of-the-art programs, both online and in-person. An example of online resources is the SITC library of Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines. The most recent publication in this series contains clinical treatment recommendations for clinicians administering immunotherapy for patients with HNSCC and is published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) – our open access, peer-reviewed online journal. Congratulations to the SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines Head and Neck Subcommittee for authoring this important consensus statement.

For in-person education, the Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) regional programs have been particularly effective and popular. Approaching its seventh year, ACIs are held in 15 communities around North America each year, and include national and local experts on cancer immunotherapy across the disease spectrum. SITC will again offer the program free of charge for healthcare professionals in the clinical setting, students and patient advocates ACI programs provide:

  • In-depth information on treating patients with FDA-approved immunotherapies
  • Analysis and interpretation of new clinical data supporting the use of checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T therapies, cytokines, oncolytic viruses and vaccines
  • Education enabling clinicians and other health care personnel to more effectively identify and manage immune-related adverse events
  • Strategies to overcome operational and reimbursement barriers to incorporating immunotherapy into practice

I’ve served as an ACI faculty member myself, and seen first-hand SITC’s ability to draw from a vast network of scientific and clinical experts to provide an outstanding educational program. Attendees acquire a better understanding of current practices and known challenges to administering cancer immunotherapy treatments. All ACIs are CME-, CNE-, CPE- and MOC-certified, assisting clinicians in providing state of the art care to their patients.

Beginning in September and through March 2020, SITC will bring its ACI program to 15 cities around North America. Registration is currently open for Cleveland (Sept. 5), Chicago (Sept. 28), Boston (Oct. 10), Buffalo, N.Y. (Oct. 26) and Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 4). Remaining cities that will host an ACI in the coming year include: Philadelphia; San Francisco; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and San Antonio. Stay tuned to the SITC website for dates and registration information on upcoming ACIs.

Finally, I’d like to share a quick reminder that we are nearly a month out from SITC’s upcoming interim workshops on cancer immune responsiveness (Sept. 4-5) and adoptive cellular therapies (Sept. 5-6) in Houston. The deadline to save money on housing is Wednesday, Aug. 14, with online registration closing Wednesday, Aug. 28, so don’t hesitate in securing your spot for these engaging scientific and clinical workshops. I hope to see you in Texas!

Sincerely,















Mario Sznol, MD
SITC President

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

President's Message - July 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Summer is already here, and our attention is increasingly focused on the 34th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2019), scheduled for Nov. 6-10, 2019. Organizers and staff have already put more than a year’s worth of planning and work into this meeting, and the pace of preparations will increase substantially over the next few months.

This year our meeting will return to the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. The venue has hosted many successful SITC programs and this fall will be no different. The Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs connects all of us in the cancer immunotherapy field, including established and leading academic and government investigators in basic, translational and clinical research, early career investigators, patient care providers, industry professionals, regulatory colleagues and patient advocates.

This summer, SITC is launching its all new Career Connections initiative to make it even easier to connect with each other in ways that could foster new, long-lasting professional relationships. This program will connect job seekers and talent seekers in the cancer immunotherapy field with an enhanced year-round online platform and new opportunities for in-person connections at SITC 2019. Stay tuned for more details about the Career Connections initiative in the next few weeks and months.

We’ve observed a surge in quantity and quality of abstract submissions to the SITC Annual Meeting in recent years as our field has grown and matured. One of our goals for the Annual Meeting over the last several years has been to increase opportunities for oral abstract presentations, in order to better recognize and share the work and to give more opportunities for oral abstract presentations to early career investigators. This year we are nearly doubling the number of oral abstract presentations over the previous year. For those considering submitting an abstract to SITC 2019, don’t forget the deadline to submit a regular abstract or late-breaking abstract application is Aug. 1, 2019, at 5 p.m. PDT.

We continue to develop collaborations with other professional societies and organizations. We owe this spirit of collaboration to several of our past presidents. The newest collaboration at our upcoming Annual Meeting, this time with the American Society of Hematology, is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, from 1-5 p.m. EDT, and will be co-chaired by Katy Rezvani, MD, PhD (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), and John M. Timmerman, MD (University of California, Los Angeles). This program will feature exciting presentations on the current state of research in hematologic malignancies.

We are continually adding new program, session and speaker information to the SITC 2019 itinerary. For the latest information regarding the SITC 2019 schedule and session information, please visit the SITC 2019 website today. Hotel rooms in National Harbor are limited and rapidly being reserved, so please don’t hesitate to confirm your registration today and secure your lodging in National Harbor.

Great scientific organizations are often associated with high quality journals publishing impactful, state of-the-art research. We are very proud to report that the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) increased its impact factor this year to 8.676. The impact factor places JITC in the top 3 percent of all fully open access oncology journals and ranks it in the top 8 percent of all journals published in the oncology and immunology categories. Congratulations to JITC Editor-in-Chief Pedro Romero, MD, the JITC Editorial Board, its vast collection of reviewers and SITC staff for hitting it out of the park again. Please consider submitting your best research to JITC or becoming a reviewer for the journal as we continue to grow its reputation and impact in oncology.

Finally, the 2019 SITC Election is fast approaching. Scheduled for July 10-24, 2019, SITC regular members and emeritus members will consider six candidates to fill three future openings for three-year terms as At-Large Directors on the SITC Board of Directors. Thank you to this year’s candidates who have offered their time and expertise to serve our Society.

Please visit the SITC website today to learn more about each of this year’s six candidates (or continue scrolling to view their names), including their biographies and positions statements. If you are not currently a SITC member, I hope you’ll consider joining SITC today.

Sincerely,














Mario Sznol, MD
SITC President

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

President's Message - June 2019

Dear Colleagues,

For 35 years, a primary purpose of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) – through its growth and multiple iterations – has been to bring together top scientists and clinicians in our field. SITC has served as the catalyst for these professionals to convene and share their latest research achievements, and through interaction and collaboration, to spur future advances and breakthroughs in the field.

Our organization was originally founded in 1984 by 40 charter members as the Society for Biological Therapy (SBT). In the past 35 years, much has changed, both in immuno-oncology and our society, including our name. SITC has grown with the field – eclipsing 2,400 members in 2018 – and remains at the forefront of scientific and clinical advances in cancer immunotherapy.

Beginning tomorrow, June 1, SITC will join our colleagues at the Cancer Research Institute to celebrate Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month™. During this month, we will bring attention to the many ways our society, through the contributions and dedication of its members, seeks to educate health care professionals and patients, and to enable research that will yield our field’s next breakthroughs. On our website and various social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook, SITC will feature a different program, resource or SITC initiative each day of the month. These activities are designed to create awareness of cancer immunotherapy and the depth and breadth of our society’s contributions to the field.

Also, on Friday, June 14, please join me in wearing white to honor and celebrate the work of the many researchers and clinicians in our field. Please consider purchasing a SITC Cure T-shirt, through a donation to the SITC Forward Fund, to wear on June 14, and then download our “Why I Wear White” flyer to share what drives your commitment to the cancer immunotherapy field. For me, every patient in my clinic who is alive today only because he or she received interleukin-2, or anti-PD-1 and or anti-CTLA-4, and every patient I see for whom these therapies were not enough to provide benefit, is another reminder of why I am committed to advancing these therapies in the clinic, and why I wear white on June 14. Take a selfie or group photo and tag SITC on social media to help us spread the word about cancer immunotherapy research.

As a final reminder, for those of you who will be in Chicago this weekend, please consider joining SITC at Buddy Guy’s Legends (700 S. Wabash Ave.) on Sunday, June 2, for the return to the stage of The CheckPoints, SITC’s house band. Doors open at 8 p.m. for The CheckPoints: Rockin' for a Cure, SITC’s annual fundraiser for the Forward Fund.

Sincerely,














Mario Sznol, MD
SITC President