Immune Escape: Current Understanding of Mechanisms and Advances in Therapeutics Approaches

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
2 – 8 p.m.

Program Purpose

As the categories and number of immunotherapies in clinical practice diversified, it became evident that renewed efforts to characterize and address mechanisms of primary immune resistance and secondary treatment failures are needed. This forum will cover current mechanistic understanding of pre-existing and acquired mechanisms of immune resistance to interventions such as immune checkpoint blockade and CAR T cell therapy, with a focus on tumor microenvironment. This will be complemented by newest information pointing to biomarkers that could be useful to identify appropriate immune interventions or combination therapies to overcome such immune resistance. Finally, a series of panel discussions will address how specific categories of immune therapies such as immune checkpoint blockade, oncolytic viruses and T cell therapies could be utilized most judiciously to maximize the likelihood of clinical success of immunotherapy in face of the diversity of resistance mechanisms.

Program Organizers

This program is organized in collaboration with the SITC Industry Committee. The following individuals are recognized for their leadership in developing this session:

  • Adrian Bot, MD, PhD – Kite Pharma, Inc.
  • Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD – Nanostring, Inc.
  • Daniel S. Chen, MD, PhD – Genentech/Roche
  • Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS – Replimune
  • Salil Patel, PhD – Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Eric Rubin, MD – Merck & Co., Inc.

Presentation Applications

Industry and academic investigators who are working on immune escape are welcome to submit an application describing their research for the opportunity to present during the program.

Click here to submit an Immune Escape Presentation Application.

Presentation applications must be submitted before 5 p.m. PT on Aug. 1, 2018.

SITC 2018 Immune Escape Presentation Application Guide

This printable comprehensive guide includes all the information you need to know about the SITC presentation application process. This guide includes:

  • Submission criteria
  • Application guidelines
  • Step-by-step submission instructions
  • Presentation Information
  • Application Policies
Download the Immune Escape Presentation Application Guide

Application Submission Criteria

Content within your presentation application submission should be publicly available to present by Nov.  7, 2018.

Presentation applications should include the following:

  • Define mechanism(s) of immune escape for both primary and secondary responses.
  • Define mechanism(s) of immune escape that prevent immunologic tumor rejection.
  • Describe the biomarkers that allow for identification of different mechanisms of immune escape.
  • Describe the new strategies designed to overcome innate and/or acquire immune resistance.
  • Explain the therapeutic approach proposed and provide the data to support it along with efficacy and biomarker changes.
  • Provide insight into underlying mechanisms of immune resistance or suggests new biomarkers for clinical validation.

Preference will be given to presentation application submissions with the following

  • Has human models and clinical data
  • Has minimal overlap with other submitted presentations applications
  • Has not been presented elsewhere or have significant changes to the submission since last being presented or published

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this program includes, but is not limited to basic, translational and clinical researchers; postdoctoral fellows; clinicians; and payers involved in cancer research from such affiliations as academia, industry and regulatory agencies.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this meeting, participants will have a better understanding of:

  • Underlying innate and acquired mechanisms that drive immune resistance, with a focus on contributions originating from within the tumor microenvironment.
  • Existing and experimental biomarkers that may predict optimal immunotherapeutic strategies in light of immune escape.
  • How specific immunotherapy classes can be optimally designed and utilized to counteract resistance mechanisms and increase patient response.

Schedule At-a-Glance

Wednesday, Nov. 7 Immune Escape Program Industry Networking Reception
Thursday, Nov. 8


Social Activity

Workshop on Nutrition, Metabolism and the Microbiome in Cancer Therapy

Meet-the-Expert Lunch

Annual Meeting Welcome Reception

Grant Writing Workshop

Friday, Nov. 9 33rd Annual Meeting Social Activity
Saturday, Nov. 10 33rd Annual Meeting Social Activity
Sunday, Nov. 11 33rd Annual Meeting Hot Topic Symposium

Program Schedule

Below is the schedule for the Cancer Immune Escape Program on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2018. This schedule will be updated as more information becomes available.


2 p.m.

Daniel S. Chen, MD, PhD – Genetench/Roche

Session I: Therapeutic Strategies to Overcome Immune Resistance

2:05 p.m.

Biomarkers in Immune Escape
Priti S. Hegde, PhD – Genentech, Inc.

2:25 p.m.

Application Presentation 1

2:35 p.m.

Application Presentation 2

2:45 p.m.

Application Presentation 3

2:55 p.m.

Application Presentation 4

3:05 p.m.

Group Discussion

3:20 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Can CAR T cells Overcome and Influence Resistance to Other Treatment Modalities?
Adrian Bot, MD, PhD – Kite a Gilead Company
Carl H. June, MD – University of Pennsylvania

3:40 p.m.


3:55 p.m.

Application Presentation 5

4:05 p.m.

Application Presentation 6

4:15 p.m.

Application Presentation 7

4:25 p.m.

Application Presentation 8

4:35 p.m.

Group Discussion

4:50 p.m.

Panel Discussion: New Concepts in Immune Checkpoint Blockade Designed to Overcome Local Immune Resistance
Eric H. Rubin, MD – Merck
Alan Korman, PhD – Bristol-Myers Squibb

5:10 p.m.


5:25 p.m.

Application Presentation 9

5:35 p.m.

Application Presentation 10

5:45 p.m.

Application Presentation 11

5:55 p.m.

Application Presentation 12

6:05 p.m.

Group Discussion

6:20 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Using Oncolytic Immunotherapy to Overcome Immune Resistance in the Tumor Microenvironment
Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS – Replimune Inc.
Dmitriy Zamarin, MD, PhD – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Darren Shafren, PhD – Viralytics Limited
Robert Coffin, PhD – Replimune Inc.

6:40 p.m.


Session II: Underlying Mechanisms of Immune Escape

6:55 p.m.

Underlying Mechanisms of Immune Escape
Thomas F. Gajewski, MD, PhD – University of Chicago

7:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Immune Resistance and the Tumor Micronenvironment
Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD – NanoString Inc.
Francesco M. Marincola, MD – Refuge Biotechnologies
George Coukos, MD, PhD – University of Lausanne
Gordon J. Freeman, PhD – Dana-Farber Cancer Center


7:55 p.m.

Salil Patel, PhD – Bristol-Myers Squibb

Immune Escape Reception

8 p.m.