The Sentinel


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

President's Message - November 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Only a few days remain before The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2020) begins on Nov. 9, 2020. This will be our first virtual meeting, and I anticipate that all the preparation and hard work will produce the best possible meeting experience for our members and our many colleagues who will join us from around the globe. I also want to extend a warm welcome to the more than 1,300 researchers and clinicians who joined the SITC family in 2020 and I look forward to working together with you in the future.

The Annual Meeting is the highlight of the year for our society and there are always many reasons to attend, but the focus is on the new and exciting data from research spanning across the entire spectrum of cancer immunotherapy. Oral and poster presentations will cover a broad range of topics including tumor immunobiology, the tumor microenvironment, mechanisms of response and resistance to immune modulators, novel immunotherapy strategies in the clinic, and emerging clinical data from new agents and combinations.

On behalf of the society, I extend our congratulations to this year’s nominees for the Presidential Award, who will present their work on Friday, Nov. 13, beginning at 1:30 p.m. EST. These abstracts were selected from a large group of submissions and represent the work of highly motivated and talented early career investigators. This year’s nominees are:

  • Defne Bayik, PhD – Cleveland Clinic
  • Emily Hsiue, MD – Johns Hopkins University
  • Nils-Petter Rudqvist, PhD – The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Michal Sheffer, PhD – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
To mitigate some of the disadvantages of a virtual meeting, opportunities were created within the meeting to enhance connections with presenters. I invite you to attend the virtual poster sessions starting Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. EST hall. In these sessions, attendees can chat in real time with poster presenters during the following designated poster presentation hours:
  • Odd-numbered posters: Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 5:15–5:45 p.m. EST, and Friday, Nov. 13, from 4:40–5:10 p.m. EST
  • Even-numbered posters: Thursday, Nov. 12, from 4:50–5:20 p.m. EST, and Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1–1:30 p.m. EST
For a complete look at this year’s abstracts, please visit the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), our society’s open access, peer-reviewed online journal, to view the abstract supplement that will be published as a preprint on Monday morning. Also, we extend our congratulations to JITC Editor-in-Chief Pedro J. Romero, MD, and the countless other editors, reviewers and contributors, on the recent news that the journal increased its impact factor to 10.252! This is a remarkable accomplishment in such a short period of time, and Dr. Romero has initiated an ambitious agenda to further increase the value and impact of the Journal.

The SITC Annual Meeting would not be the same without The CheckPoints party, so join in to hear them on Friday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. EST (through ZOOM) for a special happy hour. Don’t forget to order your limited edition T-shirt and CheckPoints Mask to support the Forward Fund.

Finally, please remember that everyone registered for SITC 2020 can now explore the SITC 2020 virtual environment. The preview continues prior to the opening of our pre-conference programs on Monday morning. Please click here to set up your profile, access the virtual exhibit hall and plan your schedule for next week.

Thank you all for your commitment to SITC. Look forward to seeing you online next week!


Mario Sznol, MD

SITC President

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