The Sentinel


Thursday, April 26, 2018

President’s Message – May 2018

Dear Colleagues,

The identification, standardization and validation of biomarkers will assist clinicians to identify the best cancer immunotherapies for patients and inform research scientists about the most critical areas of immunology for further investigation. Data from the last several years has shown the importance of checkpoint molecule expression, tumor mutation burden and CD8+ T cell infiltrate localization in tumors for patient outcomes, yet clinically validated, actionable biomarkers are not yet in hand. As many of you know, biomarker research has long been a research focus of mine and one reason I became a member of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), as SITC shares this passion to advance immune biomarker science. 
I am proud to have been chairing the SITC Immune Biomarkers Committee, which is working at the forefront of biomarker research. The committee convened in 2014 to review the state of the field and identify challenges and opportunities still facing the community. At the time, the committee was comprised of four working groups (WG) dedicated to the following topic areas:
  • WG 1 – Immunologic Monitoring, Assay Standardization & Validation
  • WG 2 – New Developments in Biomarker Assays & New Technologies
  • WG 3 – Assessment of Immune Regulation & Modulation Systematically (High Throughput Approaches)
  • WG 4 – Prediction of Clinical Outcome Based on Baseline Measures

These hard-working teams published five white papers in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) – SITC's open-access, peer-reviewed online journal. Building on these efforts, the committee is ready to apply its members' expertise to shaping the future of the field.

The SITC Immune Biomarkers Committee is pleased to invite individuals from across academia, biotech, pharma, government and clinical research communities to our upcoming workshop, Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers: State of the Art, May 16 – 17, 2018, in San Francisco. This small and focused gathering will support cross-disciplinary cooperation across organizations to advance biomarker development, shape innovative new collaborations, and determine future projects of the committee in the coming years.

This Biomarkers Workshop takes place following two days of dynamic collaboration during the Cancer Immune Responsiveness Workshop (May 14 – 15, 2018), which will feature discussions on the role of host genetics and environmental modifiers in cancer biology, adaptive and innate immune mechanisms that initiate a therapeutic response, and the development of improved in vivo models for screening novel therapeutic strategies.

SITC is proud to organize and support meaningful, impactful collaborations involving participants from every expertise. These workshops are an excellent example of SITC's effort to better the field, and I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!


Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD SITC President

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