The Sentinel


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Letter From the Editor- March

Dear JITC Readers,

Welcome to this month’s edition of the JITC digest. For many of our American and European readers, March marks the one-year anniversary of the first local shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although everyday life is still far from the pre-pandemic normal in many places, it seems as though the news has been increasingly hopeful day-by-day, especially as the pace of vaccination continues to accelerate.
We in the immunotherapy community can share in some of the pride in the outstanding success of the RNA-based COVID vaccines—as JITC readers are well aware, the platform was originally developed for anti-tumor therapy. Additional intersections between cancer immunotherapy and SARS-CoV-2 will be explored in JITC’s new COVID-19 and Cancer Immunotherapy Review Series.
RNA vaccines are but one of many examples of innovations that originated in the immunotherapy field with far-reaching implications. Our discipline excels at developing new platforms, and there is no shortage of interesting technologies to be found in this month’s original research articles. As an example, be sure to read about the use of virtual clinical trials to optimize dosing schedules for combination oncolytic virus therapy in an intriguing computational biology paper by Adrienne L. Jenner and colleagues.
We have a wealth of biomarkers papers this month, all of which not only describe novel observations, but also rigorously provide mechanistic insight into tumor immunobiology. In one such report, Jiakai Hou et al elegantly leverage published data sets combined with a well-designed CRISPR/Cas9 drop-out screen to identify and categorize tumor-intrinsic resistance mechanisms to immune elimination.
Retrospective analyses also yield new insights in a paper by SIyuan Dai and colleagues, who identified in silico and validated in vitro a role for CD8+ T cell-secreted CXCL13 in immunoevasion by clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
A different chemokine’s receptor, CCR8 is revealed to be a specific marker of intratumoral regulatory T cells and a viable immunotherapeutic target that yields tumor control without autoimmunity in murine models in a manuscript by Helena Van Damme et al.
Finally, Karen Slattery and colleagues identify a novel, targetable and prognostic autocrine regulatory circuit involving TGF beta that leads to systemic natural killer cell dysfunction in patients with breast cancer.
Although many of us have been physically distanced from each other for much longer than we’d like, it is clear that our community of JITC readers, authors, editors, and reviewers is as strong and vibrant as ever, and I look toward the future with optimism.
Best regards,

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

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

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