History of SITC

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) was founded in 1984 by 40 charter members as the Society for Biological Therapy (SBT). In 2002, members voted to change the name of the society to the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer to reflect the concentration on cancer and embrace a more global membership. Since inception, SITC has sought to facilitate the exchange and promotion of scientific information about the use of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

In its infancy, enthusiasm for SBT grew steadily, as promising scientific breakthroughs in recombinant DNA technology, monoclonal antibody technology and tumor immunology became budding foundations of cancer research. Researchers and scientists believed that new systemic therapeutic treatments would begin to supplant, or at the very least complement, chemotherapy in the fight against cancer. SBT intended to strike a balance of members from academia, government, industry and clinical and basic scientists, all interested in taking the new biotherapies from the bench to the bedside.

Scientific and business meetings have been held annually since the first Annual Meeting of SBT in 1986. At the 2002 business meeting, held November 9, 2002, the SBT membership voted to officially change the name of the society and it thus became the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

The society currently has nearly 1,700 members.


Society Presidents

Society members elect prominent investigators in the field of cancer immunotherapy to lead the society. As a key opinion leader and visionary in the field, SITC's president plays a critical role in charting and promoting the success of the society and its initiatives.

Each president brings a strong commitment to improving the outcomes of cancer patients through biological therapies. To each of these presidents, the society has in turn provided opportunity to support their commitment and vision through highly regarded scientific and educational meetings and important initiatives to advance cancer immunotherapy.

The following is a list of past presidents since SITC was founded in 1984:

  • 1984 – 1986: Robert K. Oldham, MDLisa%20Butterfield%20SITC%202016.JPG
  • 1986 – 1988: Ernest C. Borden, MD
  • 1988 – 1990: Richard V. Smalley, MD
  • 1990 – 1992: Michael Mastrangelo, MD
  • 1992 – 1994: Michael J. Hawkins, MD
  • 1994 – 1996: Ronald B. Herberman, MD
  • 1996 – 1998: David R. Parkinson, MD
  • 1998 – 2000: Michael T. Lotze, MD
  • 2000 – 2002: Robert O. Dillman, MD
  • 2002 – 2004: Michael B. Atkins, MD
  • 2004 – 2006: Ulrich Keilholz, MD
  • 2006 – 2008: Jon M. Wigginton, MD
  • 2008 – 2010: Bernard A. Fox, PhD
  • 2010 – 2012: Thomas F. Gajewski, MD, PhD
  • 2012 – 2014: Francesco M. Marincola, MD
  • 2014 – 2016: Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS
  • 2016 – Present: Lisa H. Butterfield, PhD