The Sentinel


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Letter From the Editor- January

Dear JITC Readers,

Happy new year and welcome to the first JITC digest of 2021. Even against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, last year was a banner year for immuno-oncology, with immunotherapy becoming the standard of care in more and more disease settings. I look ahead to 2021 with optimism that the immunotherapy field will continue apace—providing lifesaving options for patients with cancer and advancing our understanding of the basic immunological mechanisms of tumor control.
During the month of December, four new papers from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) were published in JITC, including the clinical practice guideline on immune effector cell-related adverse events, which will be of great value to the hematology and oncology communities. The journal is proud to support the society’s goal of scientific exchange by publishing these excellent peer-reviewed papers among the top-tier research that appears in JITC.
The original research articles highlighted in this month’s digest all provide new insight into one of the most challenging questions in our field: Why does checkpoint inhibition induce deep and durable responses in some, but not all, tumors?
Joshua R Veatch and colleagues develop an elegant enrichment and deep-sequencing strategy to show that neoantigen-responsive T cells were associated with tumor control in one patient with melanoma—shining light on a relatively minor contribution of self-antigen reactive T cells.
Expanding our understanding of potential immune checkpoints beyond PD-1 in virus-associated solid tumors, Isobel Okoye et al identify upregulation of the TIM-3 ligand galectin-9 as a marker of functional exhaustion and impaired T cell and natural killer NK cell responses.
The exhaustion phenotypes of T cells from primary and metastatic sites in ovarian cancers are clearly delineated by Galam Leem and colleagues, identifying 4-1BB costimulation as a potential means to reinvigorate defective immune responses in this setting.
Finally, in a provocative rebuke of the so-called “obesity paradox,” Shannon K Boi et al show that high body mass index is associated with worse outcomes with PD-1 inhibition for renal cell carcinoma in the real-world setting, and use mouse models to provide mechanistic insight into a role for IL-1 beta in diminished responses to therapy.
With best wishes for the coming year,

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

To view the entire January 2021 JITC Digest, please click here

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