The Sentinel


Wednesday, November 16, 2022


Dear JITC Readers,

Welcome to the latest edition of the JITC Digest, arriving in your inboxes just a few days after SITC’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Pre-Conference Programs. It was wonderful to see everybody in person and interact with so many of you, the JITC readers, during our meet the editor sessions, the journal’s 10th anniversary reception, and out around Boston.

If you were not able to attend the concurrent session on Friday dedicated to JITC’s high-impact science, I encourage you catch up on the outstanding best paper award winners highlighted in this month’s special feature. Please also join me in extending heartfelt congratulations to the 2022 recipient of the Pedro J. Romero Service to JITC Award, Cornelis J.M. "Kees" Melief.

During her keynote address at SITC 2022, Padmanee Sharma described a model of iteration from clinical results to basic laboratory research that is then translated back to the clinic. JITC is proud to have supported this vital process over the past decade by publishing innovative science from across the basic science-translational-clinical spectrum, and we’re excited to help move our field forward for many more years in the future.

Our highlighted papers this month also span the basic science-translational-clinical spectrum, and include three original research articles and a case report.

Uncovering an underappreciated mechanism of immune dysfunction in the tumor microenvironment, Xia Liu and colleagues demonstrate that inhibition of DNA damage response signaling enhances the efficacy of PD-1 blockade by alleviating T cell senescence.

Enhanced T cell infiltration in both irradiated and non-irradiated lesions provides evidence for an abscopal effect with stereotactic body radiotherapy combined with pembrolizumab in a report from the phase II PEMBRO-RT trial from Lieke L van der Woude et al.

Xiaolu Yu and colleagues describe a novel PD-L1-directed nanobody conjugated to a Toll-like receptor 7 agonist that induced complete regressions in murine models of early, established, and immunologically cold tumors.

Finally, Niklas Kehl and colleagues describe the first comprehensive genomic and immune profiling of IgE multiple myeloma, finding an unprecedentedly high mutation burden in this orphan disease and identifying neoepitopes that elicit autoreactive T cell responses.

I hope everyone’s travels returning home from Boston were smooth!

Best regards,


Pedro J. Romero, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Hello JITC Readers,

Welcome to the latest edition of the JITC digest. October is an exciting and busy time here at the journal as preparations are underway for the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs, held this year at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, November 8–12.
If you’ll be in Boston, be sure to stop by the society booth at 12:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 10, to say hello during our meet the editors session. On Friday, November 11 at 12:10 p.m., you can catch rapid oral presentations from this year’s JITC Best Paper Award Winners along with an update from our editorial leadership during session 207, "A Look at JITC's High-Impact Science." Finally, we hope you will join us for a special JITC 10th Anniversary Reception on Friday night at 7 p.m., held during the poster reception.
If you can’t make it to Boston, you can always follow along from afar on JITC’s social media channels. In addition to our Twitter feed, JITC now has a LinkedIn profile and we encourage you to connect with us!
This month’s JITC digest features three excellent original research articles and an intriguing short report.
In a timely article given the ongoing viral vector backlog that is causing months-long delays in treatment for some patients with hematological malignancies, Katherine P Mueller et al describe CRISPR-Cas9-based manufacturing of chimeric antigen receptor T cells enriched for memory phenotypes.
Two papers provide novel insights into mechanisms of immune exclusion. Anqi Li and colleagues demonstrate that therapeutic targeting of the cell surface docking receptor that activates all major isoforms of latent transforming growth factor beta improves responses to anti-PD-1 in multiple relevant preclinical models. Carsten Krieg et al identify a role for the complement anaphylatoxin C3a receptor in resistance to anti-PD-1 and the establishment of the immunologically cold colorectal cancer tumor microenvironment.
Finally, Kok Haw Jonathan Lim et al put forward a short report with evidence that the extracellular plasma protein secreted gelsolin is a negative regulator of immunogenic cell death in response to chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy.
Thank you for reading, and I hope to see some of you in Boston.



Pedro J. Romero, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


Dear JITC Readers,

Welcome to the latest edition of the JITC digest. Our clinical readers are likely still buzzing with excitement over some of the exciting data that was recently presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Annual Meeting earlier this month. Immunotherapy was certainly the star of the show, with jaw-dropping response rates to neoadjuvant nivolumab plus ipilimumab in colorectal cancer in NICHE-2 and the first randomized phase III trial showing benefit with cell therapy in a solid tumor in M14TIL. 

Our highlighted papers this month are a nice complement to the news from Paris, featuring real-world clinical data and a position paper with implications for contemporary practice, as well as important translational research to set the stage for future immunotherapies. 

Ana Costa and colleagues use single-cell transcriptomics to characterize the tumor microenvironment of neuroblastoma in a clinically relevant murine model as well as samples from human patients, revealing new insights into the myeloid populations involved in suppressing T cell responses. 

In a drug repurposing screen, Laura Schäkel et al identify the approved anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor ceritinib as a novel allosteric inhibitor of CD39, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of ATP to AMP in a key first step in establishing adenosine-mediated immunosuppression. An excellent review on CD39 by David Allard, Bertrand Allard, and John Stagg was published in 2020 in JITC’s Immune Checkpoints Beyond PD-1 series. 

Zeynep Eroglu et al demonstrate that adjuvant anti-PD-1 in patients with sentinel lymph node positive melanoma who did not undergo immediate complete lymph node dissection (CLND) offers similar benefits in a retrospective analysis of real-world outcomes as was seen in the registrational trials of adjuvant therapy in which CLND was mandated. 

Finally, a timely position article from Ahmad A Tarhini and colleagues on behalf of the National Cancer Institute Early Drug Development Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy Working Group summarizes the current state of neoadjuvant immunotherapy of solid tumors, offering suggestions for future progress across disease settings.



Best regards,


Pedro J. Romero, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer

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