The Sentinel


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.

The SITC Annual Meeting advances the society’s mission through the rapid dissemination of important research that pushes the field forward. For example, SITC member Vinod Balachandran, MD, who received the Presidential Award at SITC 2017 for his presented work identifying neoantigen factors or qualities associated with long-term survival in patients with pancreatic cancer, recently published those data across two high profile manuscripts in Nature. Juno Therapeutics, Inc. recently published important CAR T therapy guidance in Cancer Discovery, based on results also presented at SITC 2017, characterizing toxicities associated with JCAR015 therapy in adult patients with B-ALL. Also, SITC member Jason Luke, MD, FACP recently published data that he presented at SITC 2017 in Cancer Discovery concerning safety and efficacy of combination anti-PD-1 nivolumab and the investigational indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 inhibitor BMS-986205 in patients with bladder and cervical cancers. It’s exciting to know that the SITC Annual Meeting provided a forum for oral presentation of these data sets. These presentations and subsequent manuscripts were further highlighted in other journals.

Another approach for accomplishing our mission, SITC is continuously working to create unique opportunities for individuals to conduct meaningful scientific exchange that lead to advances and recommendations in research and clinical care. An example of this was recently highlighted in The Washington Post. Our society’s members worked for months through a multi-stakeholder process to generate and publish consensus recommendations on the management of toxicities associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC). Efforts like these will benefit clinicians and translational researchers by improving the understanding of side effects resulting from cancer immunotherapy treatments, and tie to our other Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines and recommendations, including the combination immunotherapies white paper and Immune Biomarkers Task Force white papers.

These are just a few recent examples of SITC meetings and initiatives that impact the field receiving both scientific and popular press support and attention. We look forward to finding new and innovative ways for SITC and our members to continue leading the way in cancer immunotherapy research.

Best wishes,

Lisa Butterfield, PhD

SITC President

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