Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure

Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure

A Pre-Conference Program; additional registration fee applies

While many patients with cancer are experiencing significant long-term benefits from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), the vast majority exhibit either primary or secondary (acquired) resistance to these therapies. The underlying mechanisms for the wide range of responses are not well understood. Before ICI resistant/relapsed patients can be properly managed, however, these underlying causes need to be elucidated, which will enable rational design of therapeutic options based on these mechanisms of resistance. Testing of therapies in this ICI-resistant population also presents unique questions, including defining resistance and proper clinical trial design strategies.

Addressing the problem of ICI resistance and failure therefore will require collaboration between researchers and clinicians involved in all aspects of cancer research and practice, including basic, translational, and clinical areas. This program will feature both invited faculty presentations by experts in the field, as well as abstract presentations from researchers, who will apply for consideration for oral presentation. These presentations will be interspersed throughout the program.  Session topics will include defining immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance, primary resistance, secondary/acquired resistance, and therapeutic strategies for patients with resistant disease. This workshop will bring together all stakeholders to address ICI resistance and failure, in order to move the field forward and continue advancing patient care.

This session will use the work of the SITC Immunotherapy Resistance Committee as a foundation for discussion. The multi-stakeholder Committee has recently generated expert clinical definitions of PD-(L)1 inhibitor resistance, published in the JITC manuscript “Defining tumor resistance to PD-1 pathway blockade: recommendations from the first meeting of the SITC Immunotherapy Resistance Taskforce." 


Monday, Nov. 9, 2020*

*Dates and times subject to change. 


Program Organizers

  • Kald Abdallah, MD, PhD – Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Edward Cha, MD, PhD – Genentech
  • Jennifer Gansert, MD, PhD – Amgen
  • Israel Lowy, MD, PhD – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
  • Giovanni Melillo, MD – AstraZeneca
  • Eric Rubin, MD – Merck & Co., Inc.

Program Schedule

*Program schedule subject to change. 

Program schedule coming soon

Target Audience

The target audience for this program includes researchers from academia and industry involved in basic, translational and clinical cancer research, as well as clinicians and those from regulatory and funding agencies.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe patterns of both primary and acquired resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • Summarize current understanding of biological mechanisms of immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance 
  • Outline rational therapeutic strategies for patients with immune checkpoint inhibitor-resistant disease  

Presentation Application Submission

Applications for consideration to present during the Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure Pre-Conference Program opens on April 1, 2020, and are due on August 25, 2020, at 5 p.m. PDT. 

Submission Criteria

Application reviewers consider a number of variables in reviewing and selecting the applications for presentation, including, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  • Content in your presentation must be available to publicly present by Nov. 9, 2020
Presentations should address one or more of the following topics:
  • Mechanisms of immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance or failure
  • Clinical and/or translational data regarding immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance or failure
  • Therapeutic strategies for overcoming immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance or failure - with focus on specific targets and combinations
Preference will be given to presentation application submissions with the following: 
  • Has minimal overlap with other presentation applications
  • Has not been presented elsewhere or has significant changes to the submission since last being presented/published
  • Has basic research, translational and/or clinical data
This program is not eligible for continuing education credit.
Presentation Application Submission
Apply for consideration to present during the Immunotherapy Resistance and Failure program. The application submission period is from April 1–Aug. 25, 2020.
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