The Sentinel


Monday, May 18, 2020

JITC Letter from the Editor - May 2020

Dear JITC Readers,

Welcome to the May edition of the JITC digest—perhaps you share the sentiment that the month of April seemed exceptionally short. Like every other aspect of life, the journal is still adapting to the ‘new normal’ imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are exceptionally grateful to the editors and reviewers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to enable JITC to continue to publish top-quality immunotherapy research even during these exceptional times.

SITC is proud to stand alongside and support our colleagues on the frontlines of the pandemic, and you can read the society editorial advocating for expanded to IL-6-targeting therapies for COVID-19 in the April issue of JITC.

You may notice that the digest is extra-long this month, featuring four original research articles, two reviews and the aforementioned editorial. It is a testament to the dedication of our immunotherapy community, and we’re excited to share these articles with you, our readers.

April saw two reviews publish that are part of the ongoing JITC "Immune Checkpoints Beyond PD-1" review series. Be sure to read a thought-provoking discussion of the increasing reliance on non-conventional trial protocols in immune-oncology by Luca Mazarella et al. as well as fascinating overview of some potential unusual suspects for checkpoint blockade in the innate cells that function to initiate and guide T cell activity from Carla V Rothlin and Sourav Ghosh.

The original research articles in this month’s digest provide important insight into responses to immunotherapy in real-world patients both in terms of basic tumor immunology and evaluable clinical outcomes.

On the clinical side, John Walker and colleagues describe efficacy and safety outcomes from the largest expanded access program to date and the only for an immune checkpoint inhibitor for metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, including in immunocompromised patients who were excluded from trials. Additionally, Yukihiro Umeda et al. leverage integrated FDG-PET/MRI-based to predict PFS in nivolumab-treated non-small cell lung cancer based on scans after the first dose.

Delving into immunological responses, Houssein Abdul Sater et al. demonstrate that the therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine PROSTVAC induces systemic immune responses and corresponding increases in lymphocyte infiltration around the tumor despite failing to demonstrate survival benefits in randomized trials. Finally, Tatsuya Yoshida and colleagues provide mechanistic underpinnings behind the link with high C-reactive protein (CRP) and poor outcomes through a variety of in vitro assays showing that CRP inhibits T cell proliferation and effector function as well as dendritic cell phenotypes.
Best regards,

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

To view the entire May 2020 JITC Digest, please click here

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