The Sentinel


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Why combine immunotherapy with targeted radiation therapy?

by Christian Hyde, MD

In the World War 2 movie, "Saving Private Ryan," a small town held by Allied foot soldiers is being over-run by Nazi tanks. At the crucial moment in the battle, when all hope seems lost, a friendly Allied airplane turns the tide by bombing an armored tank and rallying the exhausted defenders.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

President's Message – January 2018

Dear Colleagues,

This month, I wanted to update you all on some of the ways that the society fulfills its mission. As a reminder, the mission of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is to improve cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science, development and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Giving Cancer the RadScopal™ Treatment

by Alexandra Cadena

In the past decade, many advances in the field of radio-immunotherapy have taken shape. There is undeniable therapeutic synergy between radiation (XRT) and immunotherapy. 

At the Welsh lab at MD AndersonCancer Center, we strive to find new approaches and effective combinations of radiation with checkpoint inhibitors. In our quest, we found ourselves re-thinking not only what the best combination is, but also what is the safest, least toxic, and most translational treatment regimen.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Intratumoral Lymphoid Aggregates May be Tertiary Lymphoid Structures

by Aliyah Weinstein

It’s well established in the field of immuno-oncology that in nearly all cancers, a subset of patients presents with an immune infiltrate. In many of these tumors, the infiltrating immune cells appear to form aggregates that are especially noticeable at the tumor periphery. Indeed, when presenting my research on these aggregates at scientific meetings, I’ve often been approached by other scientists or clinicians who indicate that they’ve seen lymphoid aggregates in tumor tissue from their patients, but didn’t know to investigate them further. 

This brief overview may change some of those minds.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cancer: A Genetic and Immunological Disorder

by Praveen Bommareddy

Goal: The primary goal of my blog series is to contribute to SITC’s mission in educating patients, clinicians, and researchers about the recent advancements in immunotherapy. I am particularly interested in the use of genetically modified (non-pathogenic) viruses as immune modulators for cancer treatment. 

In this introductory edition of my blog series, I would like to provide an overview of cancer immunotherapy and a brief description on why immunotherapies may not always work well due to heterogeneity in tumor phenotypes and various mechanisms that suppress immune response against cancers.

Target audience: Patients and their families, clinicians, and researchers.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dorsal Fins and Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions

by Dr. Terence Rhodes

It is no small secret that I have galeophobia. It is a moderate case. It doesn’t keep me from the beach.  My top choice for vacation is the beach. Sun, slumber, sand, and the sound of the crashing waves is a recipe for relaxation. Venturing into the ocean water, however, is a concoction for anxiety. What lurks beneath the waves? 

The phobia of sharks likely comes from my over-consumption of news and media. From “Jaws” to the latest “Sharknado (Sharknado 5: Global Swarming),” sharks have terrorized movie characters and moviegoers alike for decades. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

In to I-O: First Contact

by Dr. Nils Rudqvist

My name is Nils Rudqvist and I have a confession to make: a few years ago, fresh out of grad school, I barely knew what a T cell was. I knew even less about dendritic cells, and don’t get me started on macrophages. I mean, I knew of them, but my understanding was very limited. I understood that the immune system worked hard to keep me safe and healthy, but also that it could malfunction - evident from my friend’s constant joint pain.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Viruses come to help T cells in fighting tumors

by Dr. Saman Maleki

Oncolytic viruses are emerging as promising therapeutic agents in the fight against cancer.

Last year, the U.S. FDA approved Talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec)–a genetically modified Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 replicating in tumor cells and producing GM-CSF–for the local of treatment of patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma^1. Tumor cells often have a defective intrinsic antiviral response because of their immune evasive and neoplastic characteristics, which makes them ideal hosts for viral infections^2. Furthermore, viruses preferential targeted replication in cancer cells has shown acceptable safety profile in clinical trials^2.