The Sentinel


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

President's Message - August 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Since its creation in 1984, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) has steadfastly pursued its goals to advance the science and application of tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other authorities around the world, have approved use of numerous immunotherapy treatments in recent years for a variety of cancers, education of the patient care team has become one of the most critical initiatives of our society.

To achieve its educational goals, SITC and its members have developed state-of-the-art programs, both online and in-person. An example of online resources is the SITC library of Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines. The most recent publication in this series contains clinical treatment recommendations for clinicians administering immunotherapy for patients with HNSCC and is published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) – our open access, peer-reviewed online journal. Congratulations to the SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Guidelines Head and Neck Subcommittee for authoring this important consensus statement.

For in-person education, the Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) regional programs have been particularly effective and popular. Approaching its seventh year, ACIs are held in 15 communities around North America each year, and include national and local experts on cancer immunotherapy across the disease spectrum. SITC will again offer the program free of charge for healthcare professionals in the clinical setting, students and patient advocates ACI programs provide:

  • In-depth information on treating patients with FDA-approved immunotherapies
  • Analysis and interpretation of new clinical data supporting the use of checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T therapies, cytokines, oncolytic viruses and vaccines
  • Education enabling clinicians and other health care personnel to more effectively identify and manage immune-related adverse events
  • Strategies to overcome operational and reimbursement barriers to incorporating immunotherapy into practice

I’ve served as an ACI faculty member myself, and seen first-hand SITC’s ability to draw from a vast network of scientific and clinical experts to provide an outstanding educational program. Attendees acquire a better understanding of current practices and known challenges to administering cancer immunotherapy treatments. All ACIs are CME-, CNE-, CPE- and MOC-certified, assisting clinicians in providing state of the art care to their patients.

Beginning in September and through March 2020, SITC will bring its ACI program to 15 cities around North America. Registration is currently open for Cleveland (Sept. 5), Chicago (Sept. 28), Boston (Oct. 10), Buffalo, N.Y. (Oct. 26) and Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 4). Remaining cities that will host an ACI in the coming year include: Philadelphia; San Francisco; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and San Antonio. Stay tuned to the SITC website for dates and registration information on upcoming ACIs.

Finally, I’d like to share a quick reminder that we are nearly a month out from SITC’s upcoming interim workshops on cancer immune responsiveness (Sept. 4-5) and adoptive cellular therapies (Sept. 5-6) in Houston. The deadline to save money on housing is Wednesday, Aug. 14, with online registration closing Wednesday, Aug. 28, so don’t hesitate in securing your spot for these engaging scientific and clinical workshops. I hope to see you in Texas!


Mario Sznol, MD
SITC President

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