The Sentinel


Get to Know Sentinel Author: Otto F. Sankey, PhD

(Editor's Note: The Sentinel, the official blog of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, will provide SITC Members a digital space to share their expertise and experience being in or around the field of cancer immunotherapy. To introduce these member authors to readers of The Sentinel, SITC will be publishing Q&As in the coming days.)

Name: Otto F. Sankey, PhD
Dr. Sankey

Title: Regents’ Professor of Physics

Employer: Emeritus, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ

When and why did you become a SITC member? 

I've been a member for 2 years as a prostate cancer advocate. There are no known cures for metastatic prostate cancer and immunotherapy has the potential for a cure.

SITC 2017 Scientific Highlights - Nov. 11

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to present highlights from the Saturday programs (Nov. 11, 2017) of the 32nd Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Md. (Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to view the Glossary).

Dendritic cell acquisition of MHC I controls CD8+ T cell priming

Brandon MacNabb, BS (University of Chicago) presented data supporting the concept of MHC I antigen presentation by Batf3-lineage DCs as a critical component of CD8+-mediated anti-tumor response. Researchers initially generated H2-KbAB (MHC I+) and Kb-/-(MHC I-) C1498.SIY acute myeloid leukemia cell lines and subsequently engrafted C57BL/6 mice to determine the contribution of tumor cell MHC I presentation in CD8+ T cell priming. Initial assessment revealed reduced tumor growth in C1498.SIY KbAB mice compared to C1498.SIY Kb-/- mice. CD8+ T cell proliferation was also increased in KbAB mice compared to Kb-/- mice (p < 0.05). The observed C1498.SIY KbAB-dependent CD8+ proliferation was abolished in Batf3-/- C57BL/6 mice (p < 0.01). IFN-ϒ secretion was also decreased in Batf3-/- KbAB mice, suggesting that Batf3 initiates CD8+ priming. Transfer of autologous T cells from KbAB tumor-bearing mice offered complete protection from tumor growth in tumor-free mice. Conversely, autologous T cells from Kb-/- mice offered no such protection. Interestingly, DCs isolated from the TME and the tumor-draining lymph node in tumor-positive mice had increased KbAB MHC I expression (p < 0.001), suggesting DC acquisition of tumor-derived MHC I. Ex vivo experiments confirmed that migratory KbAB DCs are capable of CD8+ priming. These data reveal the importance of Batf3-lineage DCs and tumor-derived MHC I presentation in CD8+ T cell activation of anti-tumor response, providing insight into potential development of DC-oriented therapies. 

On Tap at SITC 2017 - Nov. 12

On Tap Today

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is very happy to welcome our delegates for one more day of scientific exchange at the 32nd Annual Meeting.

Here's a look at what's on tap for today, and continue scrolling to learn about exciting news for the society in 2018.

SITC 2017 Scientific Highlights - Nov. 10

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to present highlights from the first day of the 32nd Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Md. (Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to view the Glossary)

Co-administration of novel anti-sMIC antibody increases anti-CTLA-4 therapeutic response in TRAMP/MIC mice (O22)

Jennifer Wu, PhD (Northwestern University, Chicago, IL) presented recently-published data investigating the efficacy of a novel antibody targeting the highly immunosuppressive human activation immune receptor natural killer group 2D (NKG2D) ligand, sMIC, with the goal of increasing anti-CTLA-4 therapeutic response. Using a TRAMP (transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate)/MIC mouse model, Wu’s group found that mice with increased circulation of tumor-derived sMIC receiving anti-CTLA-4 had ~25% decrease in survival over 8 weeks compared to mice receiving placebo (p < 0.05), as well as an increased risk of immune-related colitis. TRAMP/MIC mice receiving anti-CTLA-4 in combination with anti-sMIC had reduced prostate tumor burden (~0.25g vs ~6g, respectively; p < 0.001), increased DC activation, enhanced TCR/CD3 signaling, and increased T cell clonality in tumor infiltrates compared to mice receiving anti-CTLA-4 alone (P < 0.05). CR was observed in 4/5 combination-treated mice for at least 120 days post-therapy, with no cases of immune-related colitis. These pre-clinical anti-sMIC/anti-CTLA-4 data align with clinical observations in patients with mCRPC, melanoma and multiple myeloma who have demonstrated improved responses to anti-CTLA-4 therapy if they develop sMIC autoantibodies during the course of treatment. These results suggest that sMIC may act as a predictive biomarker for anti-CTLA-4 response. Furthermore, including anti-sMIC antibodies in CTLA-4-targeted therapies may reduce irAES and increase treatment efficacy.

On Tap at SITC 2017 - Nov. 11

On Tap Today

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to host our delegates this week in National Harbor, Md. at the 32nd Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs. Excitement continues as we look forward to toward another incredible day of scientific presentations at the Annual Meeting.

Here's a look at what's on tap for today.

On Tap at SITC 2017 - Nov. 10

On Tap Today

The wait is over! The 32nd Annual Meeting (SITC 2017) kicks off this morning. On-site registration and badge pickup opens at 7 a.m. for those who are joining us for the first time this week, with a breakfast also available before sessions begin at 8 a.m.

SITC 2017 is the first Annual Meeting for Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD, as President of the society. Dr. Butterfield had served as Vice President of SITC the past two years before becoming the first female President of SITC in its history following last year's Annual Meeting.

On Tap at SITC 2017 - Nov. 9

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) welcomes delegates joining us for the first time in National Harbor, Md. today. We have a full slate of programming reaching to all backgrounds and experience levels.

On Tap Today

Thursday's concurrent Pre-Conference Programs provide clinicians and researchers educational programming on the basics of tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy, single cell techniques in immunology and grant writing support for early career scientists.